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Port Traffic

by Janaina Ramalho published May 09, 2014 06:13 PM, last modified Jun 06, 2014 10:51 AM

Total Volume
Over the course of 2013, the Port Complex moved 931 million tons of gross cargo, a 2.9% increase relative to 2012.

Of this traffic, 338 million tons (36%) were moved at publically owned ports and 593 million tons (64%) were moved by Private Port Terminals (PPTs). In 2013, publically owned ports grew by 6.6%, while PPTs grew by only 0.9%.

Dock Companies were responsible for moving 63% of the 338 million tons of cargo moved through publically owned ports, a 5.1% increase. In comparison, 37% of cargo traffic passed through ports delegated to other jurisdictions within Brazil, which experienced a 10.6%.

In 2013, 4% of the volume through publically owned ports was general loose cargo, 14% liquid bulk, 22% high-value containered goods, and 60% solid bulk. Combined with PPTs, the distribution of volume changes to 5% general loose cargo, 10% container cargo, 24% liquid bulk, and 61% solid bulk.

The Port of Santos, in 2013, was the busiest publically owned port in Brazil with 30% of total volume, followed by the Ports of Itaguaí with 17%, Paranaguá with 12%, Rio Grande with 6%, and Itaqui with 5%.

These five ports accounted for approximately 70% of the total volume of publically owned ports in 2013.

Relative to 2012, the Port of Santos grew 10%; Itaguaí, 2.2%; Paranaguá, 3.6%; Rio Grande, 20.3%; São Francisco do Sul, 19.2%; Suape, 16.9%; and, Rio de Janeiro, 14.2%. The Ports of Itaqui and Vila do Conde saw a decline of 2.6% and 8.5%, respectively.

With a record volume in 2013, the Santos Port Complex exceeded initial expectations and ended the year at 114 million tons, with a significant boost from the high-performing sugarcane ethanol sector, soybeans, corn, and containers.

For the sake of comparison, initial estimates for the Port of Hamburg—the third-largest European port—called for 138.5 million tons of gross cargo in 2013, with a 6% growth rate relative to 2012, which is less than the 8.6% growth of the Port of Santos. The Santos Port Complex is expected to reach a new record in 2014, with an estimated volume of 122 million tons (CODESP), bolstered by a stronger U.S. dollar relative to the Brazilian real, as well as good economic performance in the U.S. and China.

Accounting for 26.5% of Brazil’s exports and 25.4% of its imports, dockings at the Santos Port Complex have continued to decline, despite a significant increase in cargo shipments, which demonstrates the effect of deep dredging the navigation channel, allowing larger ships to dock at the port.

Containers (TEUs)
In 2013, the publically owned ports and PPTs moved 8.9 million TEUs (98 million tons), reflecting a 9% growth rate compared to 2012. In the case of the publically owned ports, 6.8 million TEUs (75.5 million tons) were moved, at a 2.3% growth rate for the year. PPTs, on the other hand, moved 2.1 million TEUs (22.5 million tons), with a significant growth rate of 38.6%.

Of the five main publically owned container ports, the Port of Santos was responsible for moving 47% of TEUs in Brazil, followed by the Ports of Paranaguá, with 11%; Rio Grande, with 9%; and, Suape, with 6%, respectively.

Container (TEU) traffic grew significantly in the Ports of Santos, with 8.8% and Itaguaí, with 6.9%. This was in part a result of Resolution 72/11 by the Brazilian Senate, which applied a sales tax (ICMS) of 4% on products imported via interstate activities. This growth in container traffic was also due to the strength of Brazilian GDP.

The following Ports also experienced traffic growth: Rio Grande, with 2.4%; Itajaí, with 4.4%; and Suape, with 0.6%. With significant growth in the traffic of paper, fruits and chemical goods, the Port of Salvador also showed impressive growth of 8.7% in 2013.

Analyzing the chart below (made by Drewry Maritime Research, one of the most respected maritime consulting groups), we can observe the growth of the Ports of Santos and Itaguaí. In 2013, these ports performed much better than predicted by global media and other regions.

Shanghai, the largest container port in the world, moved 33.6 million TEUs in 2013, an increase of 3.3% over 2012 (Lloyds). The Ports of Paranaguá, Rio de Janeiro and Vitória saw a decline of TEUs, of 1.8%, 18.3%, and 30.6%, respectively.

With Embraport and BTP beginning operations in late 2013, navigation lines are being redrawn at the Port of Santos, the largest container port in Brazil and the 42nd-largest in the world.

The increased competition among terminals at the Port of Santos is changing how container owners do business. Embraport and BTP are attracting navigation lines served by the “old” terminals—Santos Brasil, Libra, Ecoport, and Rodrimar. For their part, these companies attempt to assure container owners that operations, service level, and cost reductions will improve.

This highly competitive environment provides container owners with increased leverage in negotiations. The average price charged by some terminals has already fallen, in an attempt to staunch the loss of customers to newer facilities. In contrast, the terminals are seeking long-term agreements with their clients.

With regard to Brazil’s main Private Port Terminals (PPTs), Portonave handled 673,000 TEUs, Itapoá, 464,000; Chibatão, 363,000; and Super Terminais, 196,000.

Regarding the goods most represented in container shipping, in 2013, exports of the following goods grew: refined sugar, 15.6%; orange juice, 11.9%; medication, 16.6%; coffee, 12.3%; wood and wood products, 11.5%; leather and footwear, 20.4%; and fruits, 2.4%. Imports of the following containered goods also grew: auto parts, 26.8; medication, 13.4%; engines, generators, and transformers, 13.7%, and fruits and vegetables, 11.6%. Exports of the following goods shrank: poultry meat “in natura”, 0.2%; auto parts, 11.5%; electronic equipment, 6%; machines and mechanical devices, 14.6%, plastics, 10.6%; and textile goods, 38.5%.

In 2013, beef exports reached 1.5 million tons—a record—with 24.3% growth relative to 2012.

General Loose Cargo
Handling 44 million tons of general loose cargo in 2013, the publically owned ports and PPTs experienced a 2.4% decline compared to 2012. A total of 14.6 million tons of these shipments passed through publically owned ports, which showed a significant growth rate of 11%. PPTs, which handled 29.4 million tons, experienced a 7.9% decline.

Of the five main public general loose cargo ports, the following grew in 2013: Santos, 28.7%; São Francisco do Sul, 16%; Rio de Janeiro, 134.6%; Pecém, 19.9%; Paranaguá, 8.1%; and, Suape, 103.9%. It is worth highlighting the significant growth at the Port of Suape, which saw a 103.9% growth rate. This was bolstered by project cargo (Abreu Lima Refinery and FIAT). The Ports of Vila do Conde, Rio Grande, Vitória, and Porto Velho experienced a decrease of 22.6%, 16%, 55.4%, and 15.8%, respectively.

The Port of Santos, the largest loose cargo port that is publically owned, moved 4.3 million tons in 2013.

With a focus on the main loose general cargo PPTs, Portocel moved 8.6 million tons; Praia Mole, 4.7 million; and, the CSA Terminal, 3.4 million.

In 2013, record high exports were achieved in the following categories: automobiles, with 476,000 vehicles (US$ 5.5 billion) and 36.6% growth; cargo vehicles, with 109,000 units (US$ 2.2 billion) and 5.5% growth; cellulose, with 9.9 million tons (US$ 5.2 billion) and 9.6% growth; and marble and granite works, with 1.1 million tons (US$ 862 million) and 25% growth.

Imports shrank by 6% in automobiles and 4% in inorganic chemical products.

Exports of metalworking goods shrank by 17.5% in 2013, a decline of 1.7 million tons of goods. In 2013, 8.1 million tons of steel were exported, worth US$ 5.6 billion.

Exports of chemical industry products basically stayed at the same volume as exported in 2012, with 13.5 million tons (US$ 14.6 billion) exported in 2013

Solid Bulk
The Brazilian Port Complex moved 569 million tons of Solid Bulk in 2013, with 2.6% growth compared to 2012.
The publically owned ports grew by 7.2% in 2013 and accounted for 35% of these shipments (199.7 million tons). PPTs, which represented 65% (369 million tons), basically performed the same as in 2012. The Ports of Santos, Itaguaí, and Paranaguá accounted for 67% (133.5 million tons) of the total solid bulk shipments through publically owned ports.

Of the 569 million tons of solid bulk handled by publically owned ports and PPTs in 2013, 329.6 million tons (58%) were due to iron ore exports, with the PPT Tubarão, owned by Vale, the largest solid bulk Port in Brazil, accounting for exporting 110 million tons.

Over the course of 2013, soybean exports reached 42.8 million tons (US$ 22.8 billion)—a record high—a growth of 30% relative to 2012. Of this amount, the Ports of Santos, Rio Grande and Paranaguá accounted for exporting 28.8 million tons (67.3% of the total exported).

Santos, the largest soybean export port in Brazil, accounted for 12.3 million tons, representing around 30% of the total exported by Brazil.

Of the 42.8 million tons of soybeans exported by Brazil in 2013, 28.7% originated in the State of Mato Grosso; 18.5% in the State of Rio Grande do Sul; and 17.5% in the State of Paraná.

In the case of soybean meal, exports dropped by 7%, with a total of 13.3 million tons shipped (US$ 6.8 billion).
The Port of Paranaguá accounted for 35% (4.6 million tons) of this volume; Santos, 25% (3.3 million tons); and, Rio Grande, 19% (2.5 million tons). These three ports comprised 78% of total Brazilian soybean meal exports.

Of the 13.3 million tons of soybean meal exported by Brazil in 2013, 32% originated in the State of Mato Grosso; 25%, in the State of Paraná; and, 20% in the State of Rio Grande do Sul

For 2014, experts at the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture estimate that 90.3 million tons of soy will be produced—a record high—representing a 10.8% growth rate in relation to the 2013 harvest.

For the first time in history, Brazil could become the largest soy-producing country worldwide, according to data released by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) in the second week of September, 2013.

Soy – Agricultural Production Map


At an impressive growth rate of 33.5%, 26.6 million tons (US$ 6.3 billion) of corn were exported by Brazil in 2013—a record high. The Ports of Santos, Paranaguá, São Francisco do Sul, Vitória, and Santarém accounted for 90% of Brazilian corn exports. Of this amount of exported corn, the Port of Santos was responsible for handling 11.9 million tons (45%) of these shipments.

Of the 26.6 million tons of corn exported by Brazil in 2013, 59% originated in the State of Mato Grosso.

Corn – Agricultural Production Map (1st and 2nd Harvests)


Estimated Production/Exports of Soy and Corn in 2014

Source: CONAB/Adapted from LabTrans

In 2013, Brazilian ports handled 21.5 million tons (US$ 10 billion) of raw sugar, Brazil’s third-largest agricultural export, an impressive 10.5% increase relative to 2012.

With significant boosts by these commodity exports, the Ports of Santos, Rio Grande, São Francisco do Sul, e Santarém experienced gains of 12.4%, 33.3%, 34.1%, and 30.9%, respectively.

Due to an intense pattern of rains in the beginning of 2014 at the Port of Paranaguá, the second-most important agricultural commodity-export port, ship loading operations were often interrupted. The effects of these rains continue to significantly impact the port’s growth rate of only 1.4%.

Accompanying the estimated growth rate of 14.2% for harvested grain in 2013 (forecasted production of 185 million tons), imports of compost and fertilizers reached 22.7 million tons in 2013, a 20.1% increase compared to 2012, when 18.9 million tons of these products were imported.

As forecast in our December 2012 Report, despite the Port of Itaguaí (where the shipment of Sold Bulk represents around 90% of its total volume and iron ore is the main good shipped) experiencing a concerning decrease of nearly 40% in January and February 2013, Itaguaí ended the year by growing 1.9%, strongly impacted by the Chinese government’s ambitious infrastructure construction program for 2013, around US$ 150 billion. They were the main consumer of iron ores from Vale, with around 50% of total exports by the company.

In 2013, 712.9 million tons of raw steel were produced by Chinese steel mills, growing 7.8% compared to 2012. Brazilian steel mills produced 34.2 million tons of raw steel in 2013, showing a decrease of 1% relative to 2012.

For 2013, experts from Vale forecast production of 306 million tons of iron ore and iron ore pellets, in in contrast to 303.4 million tons in 2012, estimating growth of 1% for the period. However, heavy rains in December, especially in the State of Espírito Santo, flooding and mudslides on the Vitória-Minas Railroad, affected ore transport operations both on the railroad and at the Port of Tubarão. Roughly 2.5 million tons of iron ore could not be shipped via Tubarão in December, 2013. Thus, the goal Vale set for 2013 may not have been achieved.

The Port of Vila do Conde experienced a decrease of 3.9% in solid bulk shipments in 2013, due to decreased cabotage shipments of bauxite and decreased imports of petroleum coke.

In terms of imports, wheat grain, with 7.8 million tons, grew by 10.5%, due to frost and the consequent decrease in wheat production in the State of Paraná, the largest producing region in Brazil, providing 49% of total production. Also in terms of imports, coal grew by 10.3%, roughly an additional 1.9 million tons.

Liquid Bulk
Over the course of 2013, publically owned ports and PPTs handled 219.9 million tons of liquid bulk, performing at 1.1% above the level recorded in 2012.

Mainly dealing in cabotage goods, publically owned ports handled 48.4 million tons and grew by 6%. While PPTs saw a decrease of 0.9%, amounting to 171.5 million tons, around 78% of the liquid bulk shipments processed by Brazil’s Port Complex. With 27 waterway ports, Transpetro is responsible for handling approximately 80% of liquid bulk through the country’s Port Complex.

Santos, the main publically owned port for liquid bulk accounted for 26% of this volume and grew by 1.5% during 2013.

The main liquid bulk PPT, Transpetro’s Port Almirante Barros, handled 53 million tons of oil and oil derivatives, growing 4.5% in relation to 2012.

Among the other main liquid bulk Public Ports, the Ports of Suape, Aratu, Rio Grande, and Fortaleza grew by 29.8%, 2.5%, 33.5%, and 10.6%, respectively. Itaqui (the third-largest in liquid bulk shipments) and Paranaguá (sixth-largest in liquid bulk shipments) experienced a decrease of 7.4% and 11.1%, respectively.

Oil and oil derivatives grew by 16.8% in 2013, with total imports of 42 million tons (US$ 34.7 billion) while exports of crude oil and oil derivatives, with 33 million tons (US$ 22.4 billion) shrank 23% in relation to 2012.

Scheduled maintenance shutdowns of some of Brazil’s oil platforms, the growth of domestic fuel consumption, the decrease of heavy crude oil imports from the U.S., and the contraction in oil prices on the international market contributed to Brazil exporting less and importing more oil and oil derivatives in 2013.

Exports of Brazilian ethanol during this period shrank by 6.3%.

SOURCE: ANTAQ/MDIC/CNA/ANEC/Brazil Steel Institute/LabTrans
Information subject to change.