But inward port cargo increased by 5.5% to 39 million tonnes.
The total number of cargo that passed through Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2020 dropped by 3.2% to 57.2 million tonnes compared to the 39 million tonnes recorded the previous year, according to data from the Census & Statistics Department (C&SD).
Inward port cargo increased by 5.5% compared with the first quarter of the previous year to 39 million tonnes, whilst outward port cargo decreased by 17.8% compared with Q1 of 2019 to 18.1 million tonnes.
A seasonally adjusted quarter-to-quarter comparison shows that the total port cargo throughput dropped by 7.3% in the first quarter of 2020. Within this total, inward port cargo and outward port cargo went down by 6.1% and 9.9% respectively, compared with the preceding quarter.
A year-on-year comparison demonstrates seaborne and river cargo declined by 4.5% and 0.9% within port cargo in Q1 of 2020. Within inward port cargo, imports escalated by 12.1% whilst transshipment reduced by 4.1%. For outward port cargo, exports and outward transshipment decreased by 40% and 7.2%, respectively.
Comparing Q1 of 2020 with Q1 of 2019, triple-digit or double-digit surges were recorded in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Taiwan (+181.3%), Malaysia (+18.7%), Vietnam (+15.0%) and mainland China (+10.9%). On the other hand, double-digit drops were recorded in the tonnage of inward port cargo loaded in Indonesia (-46.9%), Singapore (-46.2%), the US (-26.7%), Thailand (-12.6%) and Korea (-10.3%).
For outward port cargo, triple-digit or double-digit increases were recorded in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in Macao (+153.2%) and Thailand (+11.6%). In contrast, double-digit decreases were recorded in the tonnage of outward port cargo discharged in Malaysia (-26.7%), Vietnam (-25.8%), US (-24.8%), mainland China (-21.8%), Korea (-21.0%), Japan (-18.5%) and the Philippines (-13.9%).
Double-digit changes were recorded in the tonnage of inward port cargo of "stone, sand and gravel" (+58.4%), "machinery" (-11.3%), "artificial resins and plastic materials" (-11.5%) and "petroleum, petroleum products and related materials" (-20.6%)
For outward port cargo, double-digit decreases were recorded in the tonnage of "stone, sand and gravel" (-71.1%), "machinery" (-13.8%), "pulp and waste paper" (-12.7%), "metalliferous ores and metal scrap" (-11.9%) and "artificial resins and plastic materials" (-10.2%).
The port of Hong Kong handled 4.1 million TEUs of containers in Q1 of 2020, which is a 7.3% drop compared to Q1 of last year. Within this total, laden containers decreased by 8.9%, whilst empty containers upped by 1.9%. Within inward laden containers, imports and inward transshipment lessened by 11.0% and 6.1%, respectively. For outward laden containers, exports and outward transshipment shot down by 15.1% and 8.8%, respectively.
The number of ocean vessel arrivals has seen an uprising of 2.1% with the total capacity also increasing by 3.5%. Meanwhile, the number of river vessel arrivals decreased by 42.5% and the total capacity also decreased by 13.3%.
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