Shenzhen container traffic declines 19.8pc

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 July, 2009, 12:00am

Container throughput in Shenzhen, the mainland's second-busiest port, declined further last month, dimming hopes of a quick recovery in the country's exports.

Total container throughput fell 19.8 per cent year on year to 1.41 million twenty-foot equivalent units (teu) in June, worse than the 17.7 per cent decline in May, according to official figures.

The throughput of goods-laden containers amounted to 970,000 teu in Shenzhen last month, a 0.6 per cent decline from May, according to industry data.

From a year ago, the port's laden throughput fell 18.5 per cent in June, also deeper than the 15.5 per cent decline in May.

'The results have been very disappointing. It's worse than what we expected. Normally, June's throughput should be more than May, because it approaches the peak shipping season in July and August,' said Sunny Ho Lap-kee, executive director of the Hong Kong Shippers' Council.

'Shenzhen's June figures show the immediate outlook for global trade is bleak,' Mr Ho said.

Container throughput at the mainland's major ports declined 14 per cent year on year last month and 9 per cent from May, Jing Ulrich, China equities managing director at JP Morgan said.

This includes a year-on-year decline of 18 per cent and a seasonally adjusted month-on-month decline of 9 per cent in container throughput in Shanghai, the country's biggest port.

'We see the greatest risk for Chinese ports in the Pearl River Delta and Shanghai regions. Particularly in the Pearl River Delta, China's exports are dominated by low-end products such as furniture, apparel and toys,' a Macquarie Research report said.

'While the macro-data for the US may suggest some signs of a recovery, the micro-data of the demand for these products remain weak with retail sales tracking a negative month-on-month trend and increasing retail bankruptcies.'

Macquarie interviewed more than 20 officials from medium-sized to large factories producing furniture, toys and apparel in Guangdong province, whose key export port is Shenzhen due to its proximity.

'The feedback was the current trading environment remains weak, with sporadic and limited order flow,' Macquarie said.

Downward move

Container throughput at the nation's major ports last month declined: 14%