Cargo processed at South Korea's largest port of Busan fell more than 2 percent in the first half of the year on slowing global consumption and other negatives, data showed Wednesday.
Container cargo handled at the southeastern port came to 11.21 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in the January-June period, down 2.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Busan Port Authority and the Korea Maritime Institute.
The decline was blamed on a slowdown in global consumer spending, China's coronavirus lockdowns and the protracted war in Ukraine.
Export-import cargo shrank 1.9 percent on-year to 5.23 million TEUs due to falling trade volume in most countries, excluding the United States.
Transshipment cargo, or cargo processed at the port en route to final destinations, also declined 2.2 percent on-year to 5.98 million TEUs.
Transshipment cargo to the US and Japan gained 7.4 percent and 3 percent, respectively, but that to China and Russia dropped 5.1 percent and 23.9 percent each.
The first-half drop has raised concerns that Busan Port may not achieve its target of container cargo handling this year due to a global economic slowdown and soaring inflation.
The Busan Port Authority earlier set this year's cargo-handling goal at 23.50 million TEUs, up 3.5 percent from a year earlier.
The port operator also said the downturn in Busan's container cargo processing is expected to continue in the coming months due to those negative factors. (Yonhap)