Trade to Europe up
THE number of containers carried by shipping lines from Hong Kong, China and Macau to northern Europe totalled 695,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) last year, up 15 per cent from 1993, shipping sources say.
The number of containers hauled by conference and non-conference lines from Asia to northern Europe route totalled more than 1.87 million TEUs, up eight per cent from the previous year.
Cargo out of Japan dropped 0.5 per cent to 352,000 TEUs, but cargo out of other Asian countries was up 11.1 per cent to more than 1.56 million TEUs.
South Korea's export cargo totalled 138,000 TEUs (up 10 per cent), Taiwan's was 197,000 TEUs (down 0.5 per cent), the Philippines 38,000 TEUs (up one per cent), Singapore 80,000 TEUs (up two per cent), Malaysia 86,000 TEUs (up 13.6 per cent), Thailand 133,000 TEUs (up 7.5 per cent), Vietnam 29,000 TEUs (up 43 per cent), and Indonesia 130,000 TEUs (up 10 per cent). The 10 per cent increase posted by South Korea exceeded the growth pace of that country's overall exports.
As to the outlook for this year, the sources estimated that cargo out of Japan would show a rise of three or four per cent.
But there seems to be apprehension about how the recent earthquake in Japan will affect the trade with Europe.
The sources also predicted that cargo out of Asia would maintain a smooth uptrend and post double-digit growth.