Cargo at S. Korea's seaports shrinks 2.7 pct in April

SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- Cargo processed at the country's seaports dropped from a year earlier in April, largely due to a drop in imports, the government said Tuesday.

The amount of cargo handled at the country's seaports came to about 109 million tons last month, down 2.7 percent from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

The amount of import-export cargo shrank from 91.85 million tons in April 2012 to some 90.4 million tons last month.

In April, the country's total exports inched up 0.5 percent from a year earlier but its imports dropped 0.5 percent on-year, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said earlier.

Domestic cargo dropped more than 8 percent to about 18.65 million tons in April from around 20.3 million tons last year.

The growth of transshipment cargo, or cargo processed here while en route to a final destination, also slowed to a 3.3 percent on-year gain to little over 2 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs), compared with a 7.8 percent on-year gain in the first quarter.

By port, the country's largest port in Busan posted a 1.7 percent on-year growth in the amount of cargo processed in April, but the amount of cargo handled at its second-largest Gwangyang port plunged 13.5 percent, according to the ministry.

In the first four months of the year, the Busan port processed 5.8 million TEUs, posting a 3.6 percent on-year growth and maintaining its status as the world's fifth-largest seaport, the ministry said.

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