Shenzhen port volume slides as trade weakens

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am


Shenzhen's container throughput dropped 2.4 per cent year on year to 1.88 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last month in yet another sign of the mainland's weakening trade.

This is the first year-on-year decline in container throughput for the mainland's second-busiest and the world's fourth-busiest port since January and the first monthly decline since February. In comparison, its container throughput rose 3.4 per cent year on year in May and 5.6 per cent in April.

'The June figures are not good for Shenzhen, indicating trade is getting worse,' Sunny Ho Lap-kee, executive director of the Hong Kong Shippers' Council, said.

Thousands of Hong Kong-owned factories in the Pearl River Delta, a region long seen as the factory to the world, export their goods through the ports of Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Ho said that at a meeting two weeks ago, Hong Kong exporters said they were facing a very difficult environment.

'The situation is more difficult than the port figures of Hong Kong and Shenzhen suggest. They found it hard to believe that Hong Kong and Shenzhen ports had positive growth in the first five months of this year, as their business had decreased significantly,' he said.

During the first six months of this year, Shenzhen's container throughput grew 1.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the Shenzhen Ports Association. In the first five months, the container throughput of Hong Kong, the world's third-busiest port, rose 2 per cent to 9.98 million TEUs, according to the Hong Kong Port Development Council.

'The situation for Hong Kong manufacturers is even worse, because they still focus on Europe and the US. These markets have been hit harder than Asia. The Pearl River Delta exports have a much higher focus on the EU and US [than other Chinese ports],' Ho said.


Shenzhen's container throughput in May as measured in twenty-foot equivalent units; it fell to 1.88 million TEUs in June