Cargo processed at South Korean seaports fell 5.1 percent on-year in the second quarter of this year amid global supply disruptions due to the prolonged crisis in Ukraine and China's lockdown of major cities over the COVID-19 pandemic, the oceans ministry said Thursday.
Cargo handled at the country's ports came to 373.98 million tons in the April-June period, compared with 394.17 million tons a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
Handling of export-import cargo declined 6.2 percent on-year to 314.89 million tons in the second quarter, it added.
Container cargo processed at the seaports declined 6.0 percent on-year to come to 7.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the second quarter. Of the total, processed export-import container cargo fell 6.8 percent on-year to stand at 4.43 million TEUs in the cited period, the ministry said.
The decrease came as trade volume with China and Japan fell 6.7 percent and 4 percent, respectively, which offset a 1.8 percent growth in the trade volume with the United States, according to the data.
South Korea's handling of transshipment cargo, or cargo processed here en route to final destinations, also went down 4.9 percent on-year to 3.12 million TEUs due mainly to a 50.1 percent fall in the volume to Russia, the data showed.
Non-container cargo handled at the ports also fell 4.18 percent from the previous year to 245.56 million tons in the second quarter, the ministry said.
By item, cargo of vehicles and oil fell 10.8 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, during the April-June period. That of iron ore and coal also tumbled 8 percent and 7.3 percent on-year, respectively, in the second quarter.
"The Ukraine crisis and China's lockdown of major cities over the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the cargo volume in the second quarter. But we expect a turnaround in the third quarter, as China lifted the measure and we are able to handle a greater volume thanks to the expansion of a port in Busan," a ministry official said.
China had locked down Shanghai from late March through June 1, and Beijing had tightened travel and business restrictions, as the country enforced strict antivirus curbs. (Yonhap)