In 2015, the Brazilian port of Santos posted a 7.1% rise in traffic to 119mt (million tonnes), beating by 4.3% the previous record of 114mt posted in 2013. Santos accounts for around 25% of all Brazilian export traffic.

The result was unexpected; Codesp, the port authority, had predicted at the end of 2014 that the following year's traffic would reach 117mt.

Exports rose by 13.1% to 86.6mt, due mainly to increased sugar, soya and wheat consignments. In contrast, imports were down by 6.4% to 32.3mt. The number of vessel movements dropped by 0.8% to 5,100.

According to Codesp's director of engineering, maintaining a stable draft in the port had helped with overall productivity. Three dredging contracts have resulted in an average of 13.2 metres of draught being available throughout almost all of the 24.5km fairway.

Codesp president, Alex Oliva, has said that for 2016 it's important to establish the right conditions to attract private investment for port terminals. Three tenders issued at the end of last year did not generate levels of investment that the earlier been predicted.