China port volumes rebound in March to post 0.9pc first quarter growth


CHINA's top eight ports handled a combined 12.45 million TEU in March, increasing first quarter volumes 0.9 per cent year on year to 35.42 million TEU.

The good performance in March was a recovery from February when container volumes at the top eight ports fell 0.8 per cent to just over 10.3 million TEU, reported IHS Media.
Guangzhou was up 12.4 per cent; Ningbo, up 4.2 per cent; Qingdao, up 3.2 per cent; Dalian, up 3.1 per cent and Shanghai, up 2.9 per cent. 

A 22 per cent rise in domestic trade volumes boosted volumes at Shenzhen by 6.5 per cent, with its Yantian terminal posting 10.1 per cent growth.

Overall throughput at the Pearl River Delta (PRD) ports expanded 9.2 per cent year on year in March after a drop of 7.7 per cent in February. 

On a year-to-date basis, the major PRD ports are just about in positive territory, up 0.4 per cent to 9.59 million TEU. 

Yangtze River Delta (YRD) ports are also ahead for the year, with throughput up 0.9 per cent to 13.93 million after year on year growth in March of 2.9 per cent; while the Bohai Rim ports are up one per cent to 9.85 million TEU year-to-date after booking combined growth of 1.6 per cent in March. 

The port of Tianjin continues its struggle to regain momentum since the explosions last year and March volumes declined by 1.1 per cent.

Given challenges in the global economy, the expectation is growth at China's top ports will be sluggish in 2016 and most likely remain in low single digits with a best case scenario of mid-single digit growth in volumes across the country.

Separate figures from Hong Kong's Port Development Council show volumes fell further in March, down eight per cent to just over 1.5 million TEU. 

Throughput at the Kwai Tsing terminals was down nine per cent to 1.2 million TEU, while river trade volumes fell 4.3 per cent to 350,000 TEU.

Year-to-date, Hong Kong's total volumes were down 10.4 per cent on the first quarter of 2015. Volumes handled by the Kwai Tsing terminals were down 11.9 per cent and barge volumes were down 4.7 per cent.

Source: Schednet

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