Cargo processed at Korean seaports rose from a year earlier in May, the government said Thursday, possibly reflecting improvements in the country’s exports.
Cargo handled at the country’s seaports came to 124.46 million tons last month, marking a 1.4-percent on-year rise and a turnaround from a 1.2-percent decline in the previous month, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. The increase was attributed to a rise in non-container cargo, which gained 1.6 percent on-year.
Container cargo, on the other hand, edge down 0.9 percent on-year to some 2.17 million twenty-foot-equivalent-units due to a sharp decline in the amount of transshipment cargo.
Transshipment cargo, or cargo processed here while en route to a final destination, shrank 4.3 percent on-year to some 863,000 TEUs. Import-export cargo, on the other hand, gained 1.4 percent to some 1.29 million TEUs, apparently reflecting what local economists have called mild signs of improvement in exports.
South Korea’s exports dropped for 17 consecutive months since the start of 2015, slipping 6 percent on-year in May. The May reading, however, marked the slowest rate of decline since the start of the year.
By country, import-export cargo to and from China, the world’s single largest importer of South Korean goods, dropped 8.3 percent on-year in May while shipments to and from Europe spiked 14.1 percent, the ministry said in a press release.
By port, the country’s largest port in Busan, located some 450 kilometers south of Seoul, had its import-export cargo grow 0.3 percent in May, while its transshipment cargo slipped 2.4 percent.
As of end-May, Busan remained the world’s fifth-largest seaport in terms of cargo volume, the ministry said.