Management of Port Takoradi has revealed that despite steady growth in import traffic, there has been a significant drop in export cargo traffic at the port for the first half of 2020 as the result of an about-four-month long halt to manganese export through Port Takoradi.
Speaking to the Eye on Port programme, the Human Resource Manager at Port Takoradi, Peter Amo Bediako, disclosed that there was an about-53% reduction in cargo traffic for the first six months of the year 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
This shortfall, he said, is largely attributable to a drop in exports by 68% as a result of the inability to ship manganese in the first four months of 2020.
“If you look at exports alone, we lost a total export of 2.9 million metric tonnes of cargo. Out of that, 2.2 million metric tonnes representing 76% was manganese,” he explained.
He made these revelations in an attempt to answer a question that sought to find out if any direct link could be drawn from negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on business at the port.
He explained that, instead, manganese export took a break following some discussions between the government and the manganese companies to rearrange its deal.
“The issue with manganese had nothing to do with COVID-19. I think some discussions were going on about the capping of manganese exports through the port, and this is still being discussed, and that is what affected us for about a six-month period.”
However, the HR Manager, who was formerly in charge of Marketing and Public Affairs at Port Takoradi, updated that export of Manganese began again in May.
Regarding imports, Peter Amo Bediako said in the first half of 2019, 1.4 million metric tonnes of cargo was handled at the Port of Takoradi compared to 1.29 million metric tonnes handled in the same period of 2020, which has some slight correlation with the coronavirus.
However, according to him, because Port Takoradi’s performance has been heavily reliant on exports, the fall in export numbers makes it more conspicuous in the half-year outlook.