France’s Rouen First-Half Grain Cargoes Fall 35% on Competition

Grain shipments from the port of Rouen, Europe’s largest cereal export hub, slumped 35 percent in the first half from a year earlier on competition from the Black Sea region and South America.

The port on the Seine River, downstream of Paris, reported grain shipments fell to 2.6 million metric tons from 3.98 million tons in the first half of 2011, according to an e-mailed statement today.

The volume of grain handled by the port in the crop year from July 1, 2011 through to June 30 fell 26 percent to 6.14 million tons, according to the report.

“Most of this decline is explained by the expected reduction in outbound cereal shipments, linked in particular to the return to market from the start of the 2012-13 season of the Black Sea countries and the strong competitive position of South American grains, as well as those from North America and Australia in this first half,” the port wrote.

Total maritime cargo volume for the Seine River ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris fell 7 percent to 42.7 million tons, as increased container shipping failed to make up for a slide in bulk products, the port reported.