China’s container trade decelerated in August as it was impacted by the devastating port blast in Tianjin, one of the country’s leading ports, Citi Research said on Wednesday. Volume in China’s top eight container ports decreased 0.6 per cent in August from a year ago, to 12.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units (teu), due to the deadly chemical warehouse explosions in Tianjin on August 12, Citi said in a report. The blast killed more than 160 people and inflicted damage on terminal facilities. Tianjin is the world’s tenth largest container port by container volume. Its throughput declined as much as 27.9 per cent year on year in August. Excluding Tianjin port, however, total throughput for the other seven major coastal ports increased by 2.2 per cent year on year. The 2.2 per cent growth is still “one of the slowest growth rates during the first eight months,” Michael Beer, chief transport analyst at Citi wrote in a note. “We are cautious on the China port’s throughput growth in the second half given the weak economic outlook.” The share of Hong Kong-listed Tianjin Port development has declined more than 20 per cent so far since August 12.