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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phnom Penh port sees recent boom continue

Phnom Penh port sees recent boom continue

Traffic climbed 75pc in January, beating projections for 2010

PHNOM Penh Autonomous Port maintained a strong recovery last month as shipments climbed 74.9 percent on January 2009, the seventh straight month of growth and highest annualised increase since the economic crisis hit Cambodia, according to port data.

Figures obtained Thursday showed the capital’s port recorded traffic of 4,547 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in January, or 34,051 tonnes of goods, compared with 2,599 TEUs, or 19,699 tonnes a year ago.

“The impact of the world economic crisis is diminishing,” port Deputy Director General Eang Veng Sun said Thursday.

Exports of agricultural products and textiles from the capital were up, he added, and imports of construction materials and raw materials for the garment sector had also risen.

On January 27, the port said it projected the shipment of 62,500 TEUs, about 585,600 tonnes, which would represent a 44 percent rise on 2009.

The port’s turnaround since July last year – the facility suffered a 20 percent slump in revenues for the first half of 2009 – has been attributed to the opening that month of Cai Mep Deepwater Port in southern Vietnam, which offers a more direct route to North America, Cambodia’s main export market.

With the opening of the Vietnamese port, goods from the Kingdom could be shipped to the United States and Canada by way of the Mekong River and Cai Mep, a route that takes days less than previously popular sea routes via Sihanoukville, Hong Kong or Singapore.

So Nguon, director of Cambodia’s leading domestic transportation and logistics firm So Nguon Group, said Thursday his company transported 120 containers of garment products to the port in January, compared to just 100 a year earlier.

Still, this did not represent a net rise in garment exports overall – garment and apparel exports fell slightly in January year on year, official figures showed Wednesday – instead Phnom Penh has poached traffic from other ports, principally the Kingdom’s largest facility, in Sihanoukville, since the opening of Cai Mep in July.

Despite the second-half recovery in traffic, Phnom Penh port suffered a 2 percent drop in revenues last year compared to 2008 to US$4.93 million, a figure that is projected to climb significantly to US$6.25 million this year, which would represent the highest figure ever recorded.

The Chinese owned Shanghai Co is scheduled to construct a US$30 million port upgrade that would further increase capacity.

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