Hong Kong’s main air cargo terminal said it handled three percent more cargo in the first three months of 2005 as exports rose.

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. (HATCL), 25% owned by Jardine Matheson Holdings and 20% by Swire Pacific Ltd., said in a statement it handled 532,348 tons of cargo in the first quarter.

“The first half of 2004 was particularly strong, so slower year-on-year growth is not unexpected, and reflects the worldwide economic trade situation,” Warren Bishop, HACTL’s marketing director said in a statement.

Throughput for March totaled 210,905 tons, up 3.3% on the same period the previous year.

Export volume for the first quarter was 294,636 tons, up 4.6% year-on-year, but import volume for the first three months fell 7.7% to 153,999 tons. (Reuters)