There is always a winner out of every crisis. While the Spanish countryside languishes due to the water crisis that is plaguing many of the southeastern basins, and farmers anticipate historic losses due to the effects of the weather on their crops, Spanish ports record record numbers in arrivals of deuges, enna prages and cereals from some European countries to curb exports from Ukraine. Data from Puertos del Estado show how in the first three months of the year, Spanish port facilities have received and landed.
Tarragona is the first Spanish port for receiving cereals and flour. It closed 2022 with 4.23 million tons landed, one million more from the next port, Cartagena. Of the rest of the port facilities, only those of A Coruña, Valencia and Huelva exceeded one million tons. In total, Spain shipped 16.1 million tons of grain last year, almost five million more than in 2021. And this despite the fact that in mid-February 2022 the war broke out in Ukraine, a country that acts as a granary for Europe and that competes with the Spanish cereal, although given the expectations of the harvest season, the farmers have asked that they not stop arriving to avoid eventual shortages.
After months of discussions between Russia and Ukraine, the establishment of a maritime port through the Black Sea to be able to get grain out of the invaded country accelerated the corridor ship starting in the summer, when the ports began to substantially increase their number of operations, also in the recovery of the global supply chain and the need to fill the tanks with liquefied natural gas to face the winter.
But the activity does not stop in Tarragona. Its port has closed March marking a triple record in movement of cereals: monthly, quarterly and annual. In the third month of the year there were 529,000 tons, triple that of the previous year, when the invasion of Ukraine stopped a large part of the shipments. In the accumulated first quarter, the figure increased to 1.8 million tons, 66% more than in 2022. Almost half, 859,000 tons, come from Ukraine; another quarter comes from Brazil (413,000 t) and one tenth, 154,000, from Latvia.
But the Catalan port not only disembarks, but also embarks and transits to other destinations. In total, it moved 8.52 million tons, 15.5% more year-on-year, which confirms its position as a key port in the Mediterranean in terms of agri-food and fluid management, which also grew by 33% to 1 .7 million tons in a month and 5 million a quarter.
The north unloads cereal like never before
Cartagena has also broken its records for port traffic: 9.5 million tons in the first quarter, 8.8% more than last year. Although a good part of them have to do with the good level of solid bulk exports. But cereals are again guilty of these records: more than 629,000 tons have entered through its docks. They are twice as many as in 2021, although they do not reach the value of last year at this point, when it recorded 849,608 tons. The Cartaginian port intends to consolidate its dock expansion plans, which involve building a new multi-purpose terminal.
Behind, the ports that are growing the most are those of the Bay of Cádiz, which receives 50% more than last year (157,823 t) and triples the data for 2021; Huelva, which raises its landings to 387,226 tons, ten times more than two years ago; or those from the north of the peninsula: Santander (+64%) or Gijón (+27%). Added to them are others who hardly received, such as Ferrol-San Cibrao (A Coruña), Vilagarcía (Pontevedra), Avilés (Asturias), Bilbao (which began to receive in 2022) or Pasaia (Guipúzcoa).