Excluding grain, 2017 traffic for HAROPA - Port of Rouen was slightly up by 1.7% compared with the previous year.
The beginning of the 2017 fiscal year was affected by the poor 2016-2017 grain harvest, with, in the end, a decrease of 17.8%, 5.5 Mt exported, against 6.7 Mt in 2016. The second half was up to expectations with a better harvest in quality and quantity. Algerian and Moroccan purchases in the last weeks of 2017 generated a minimum flow that enabled HAROPA - Port of Rouen to secure 40% of French grain exports in 2017. Rouen has kept its position as the leading West European port for grain exports.
With a total of 9.8 Mt against 9.9 Mt in 2016, liquid bulk traffic was very slightly down. However, refined products, which account for two-thirds of the traffic remained the same (6.63 Mt, vs 6.64 Mt in 2016). The profit margins on these products were very favourable. At the same time, the refineries of the Seine corridor worked at full output this year - unlike 2016 - which strongly affected imports, without affecting the total traffic.
The significant decrease in traffic in terms of solid bulk (- 8.7% at 8.9 Mt) was a direct consequence of the poor 2016-2017 grain harvest. In fact, excluding grain, solid bulk rose 12% to 3.35 Mt (vs. 2.9 Mt in 2016). Solid fertilizers grew by 12.4% (683,879 t) and aggregates increased by 16.5% (380,000 t). Both should also significantly grow with the progress in the Grand Paris Express work-site. Only coal was down (-22%) at 230,000 t, a direct result of the switchover to biomass wood by the EDF power plant in Vitry-sur-Seine, which previously used coal.
Container traffic fell very slightly by - 0.8% in 2017 (87,760 TEU in 2017, compared with 88,478 TEU in 2016). In 2017, the overall containerized traffic for HAROPA - Port of Rouen stabilized at the level of the previous year, marking the end of a complex period, due in large part to the situation in Central Africa, one of the core targets for Port operators. New offers of fully containerized ships by the Seatrade shipping line from the Radicatel terminal, particularly to the West Indies, helped to increase traffic. On their side, break-bulk activities were favourable, thanks in part to the port calls made by UAL ships which started in 2017.
1.33 Mt of conventional (or general cargo) were processed in 2017, against 1.34 Mt in 2016, (-0.4%). For several years, this sector has been declining due to the containerization of many goods. Forest and paper products, however, increased by 26.5% to 301,441 t (compared with 238,362 t in 2016). The abolition of European sugar export quotas on 1 October, enabled the Robust terminal to significantly increase processing, whether for bags, bulk or containers.