Morocco's Tanger Med Port Expects to Exceed Nominal Container Capacity

A view of cargo and tankers ships sailing in the Strait of Gibraltar, located between the Musa mountain of Morocco and the coast of Spain, pictured from a tourist lookout in Tarifa, southern Spain, June 4, 2024. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
A view of cargo and tankers ships sailing in the Strait of Gibraltar, located between the Musa mountain of Morocco and the coast of Spain, pictured from a tourist lookout in Tarifa, southern Spain, June 4, 2024. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
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Morocco's Tanger Med Port Expects to Exceed Nominal Container Capacity

A view of cargo and tankers ships sailing in the Strait of Gibraltar, located between the Musa mountain of Morocco and the coast of Spain, pictured from a tourist lookout in Tarifa, southern Spain, June 4, 2024. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
A view of cargo and tankers ships sailing in the Strait of Gibraltar, located between the Musa mountain of Morocco and the coast of Spain, pictured from a tourist lookout in Tarifa, southern Spain, June 4, 2024. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Morocco's Tanger Med port expects to top its nominal processing capacity of nine million containers this year, the port's deputy managing director told Reuters, adding security problems in the Red Sea had had little impact on traffic growth.
Last year, the port maintained its position as the largest in the Mediterranean, handling 8.61 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), up 13.4% on 2022.
In the first quarter this year, tonnage rose 14.9% to 33.3 million metric ton, while revenue increased 18.3% to 1 billion dirhams ($100 mln), official figures showed.
"We also grew by a certain percentage in terms of containers," Rachid Houari told Reuters, saying that the exact figure was for year's end.
"Now each terminal is doing a little bit more in traffic than the theoretical capacity, that is why I think we will do a little bit better than nine million containers," he said, in an office overlooking an export terminal full of Morocco-made cars.
"We want our port to function to its maximum best productivity," he said, noting terminal TC1 run by APM TT which processed 2.5 million TEUs last year, compared with its nominal capacity of 1.5 million TEUs.
The port's growth drivers are its location at the entry of the busy Mediterranean, its connection with 180 ports, and its partnerships with big shipowners and terminal operators such as Maersk, Hapag Loyd and CMA CGM, Houari said.
The port has often been mentioned as benefiting from the re-routing of container ships around Africa to avoid attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi militants in the Red Sea.
Containers crossing the Red Sea represented only 25% of the port's traffic, with many vessels still crossing the Suez Canal despite disruptions, Houari said, noting the bulk of the port's traffic is with Africa, Europe and the Americas.
The port is backed by industrial zones that are home to 1,200 companies that employ 110,000 people, generating exports worth $15 billion last year, or 20% of overall Moroccan exports.
It plans to expand its industrial zones from 2,500 hectares to 5,000 hectares to attract more investors in high added-value industries, Houari said.



German Economy Minister Says EU Open for Talks on China Tariffs

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights
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German Economy Minister Says EU Open for Talks on China Tariffs

German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights
German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck poses for pictures alongside National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Chairman Zheng Shanjie following the opening session of the German-Chinese Climate and Transformation Dialogue in Beijing, China June 22, 2024. REUTERS/Maria... Purchase Licensing Rights

Germany's Economy Minister Robert Habeck said during his visit to China on Saturday that the European Union's door is open for discussions regarding EU tariffs on Chinese exports.

"What I suggested to my Chinese partners today is that the doors are open for discussions and I hope that this message was heard," he said in his first statement in Shanghai, after meetings with Chinese officials in Beijing, Reuters reported.

Habeck's visit is the first by a senior European official since Brussels proposed hefty duties on imports of Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) to combat what the EU considers excessive subsidies.

Habeck said there is time for a dialogue between the EU and China on tariff issues before the duties come into full effect in November and that he believes in open markets but that markets require a level playing field.

Proven subsidies that are intended to increase the export advantages of companies can't be accepted, the minister said.

Another point of tension between Beijing and Berlin is China's support for Russia in its war in Ukraine. Habeck noted Chinese trade with Russia increased more than 40% last year.

Habeck said he had told Chinese officials that this was taking a toll on their economic relationship. "Circumventions of the sanctions imposed on Russia are not acceptable," he said, adding that technical goods produced in Europe should not end up on the battlefield via other countries.