Shanghai and Shenzhen set cargo records
Toh Han Shih
Container volume growth at Shanghai and Shenzhen ports rose at a double-digit pace to historic highs last month, surpassing the expectations of some analysts.
Shanghai overtook Singapore as the world's busiest container port in April and Shenzhen displaced Hong Kong as the world's third-busiest in July.
'While fourth-quarter container volume growth is expected to slow on a year-on-year basis, given a higher base of comparison with the fourth quarter of 2009, some growth is still expected,' said Jim Wong, an analyst at Nomura Holdings.
'Hence it is likely that the China port operators will be able to beat their container volume growth targets of 10 to 15 per cent for the full year.'
Ma Yongzhi, a vice-director general of Shenzhen Port Administration, said the growth trend of Shenzhen's container throughput should continue for the rest of the year because international demand was still strong with the Christmas season coming.
Shanghai's container throughput rose 20.7 per cent to a record 2.64 million 20-foot equivalent units (teu) last month, according to Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), the Shanghai-listed operator of the port.
Shenzhen's container throughput in the same month rose 29.5 per cent to 2.24 million teu, which is also the highest on record. The figure includes 1.06 million teu of exported laden containers and 858,166 empty containers.
For the first eight months of this year, Shenzhen's exports of laden containers rose 26.35 per cent, while empty container throughput grew 36.95 per cent.
Cargo throughput climbed 19.9 per cent to 20.29 million tonnes.
The increase in container throughput in Shanghai and Shenzhen was 'quite amazing', said JP Morgan analyst Karen Li said. 'In May and June, there was the euro crisis and Chinese export orders and China's [purchasing manager's index] dropped. By now, we should see the impact, but the August data is very positive.'
Meanwhile, customs duties at Guangzhou have risen 41.4 per cent so far this year to a historic high of 30.09 billion yuan (HK$34.46 billion), according to a government website.
A customs official said the sharp rise in duties indicated a robust recovery in Guangdong's trade from the global financial crisis. In the first eight months of the year, the customs recorded a 53.1 per cent surge in trade to US$30.2 billion.