Asia-West Africa box trade recovers, up 7pc in third quarter as GDP rises 3pc

ASIA-WEST Africa trade has improved as rates recovered because of capacity reductions with third quarter box volumes growing seven per cent year on year driven by a quarterly three per cent increase in GDP, according to Container Trade Statistics.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari asked lawmakers to approve a 16 per cent increase in spending to NGN8.6 trillion (US$23.9 billion) for 2018, earmarking a third of the budget to roads, rail, ports and electric power, reported Bloomberg.

Southbound Asia to West Africa trade grew at its fastest rate since the last period of 2014, up 3.2 per cent to 900,000 TEU after nine months.

"Highlighting just how awful the Asia to West Africa has been over a number of years, even if the current growth rate were to be maintained through the remainder of the year, volumes would still close under the 2012 mark at 1.2 million TEU," said London's Drewry Maritime Research analysts.

"That sum would be down by about 18 per cent on the recent peak of 1.5 million TEU registered in 2014," they said.

But Nigeria's third quarter GDP increased 1.4 per cent year on year, yet this was a great improvement compared to a 0.72 per cent uptick in the second quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, but falling short of the 1.5 per cent hike predicted by 13 economists polled by Bloomberg.

The Nigerian economy contracted 1.6 per cent in 2016, the worst annual slump in 25 years. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts GDP growth of 0.8 per cent this year and 1.9 per cent in 2018 as oil output, Nigeria's biggest export, increased and as more foreign currency becomes available for factory imports.

Source: Schednet

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