China box trade set for dramatic upturn.
CHINA"S import and export loaded container traffic will see a dramatic year-on-year recovery in 2010, followed by a ?modest growth? in 2011, says a new report by UK-based trade analysts MDS Transmodal.
The China Trade Briefing by MDS predicts that laden export traffic from China"s ports will be 31.8m teu this year, up 19% over a disastrous 2009 for the global container industry, while China"s inbound volumes will increase by 25%, year-on-year, to 12.4m teu.
The 15-page report, based on data stretching back 20 years, forecasts that China"s laden unitised exports will rise by just 3% in 2011, versus 2010, to 32.6m teu, with an 8% increase for inbound traffic at 13.4m teu. The report"s statistics do not include empty and transshipped boxes.
MDS, which provides container forecasts for the UK government and global shippers, said: ?Overall, we estimate that China"s containerised exports fell by 11% in 2009 as a whole.
?In the near term we anticipate that export growth will resume, but at a slower rate than in the early nineties when double-digit growth was common both in the shipping industry"s vocabulary and its expectation.
?And if demand in the richer economies is restrained in the next few years, then China"s export-led growth must seek out new markets, perhaps led by higher value products or by moving production inland, away from the higher wage coastal provinces, in order to retain competitiveness.?
One interesting point highlighted by the report is that there is a clear rise in the amount of containerised food imports, presumed to be catering for China"s growing middle-class consumers.
In 2007, the last comparable year before the global crisis hit, shows 1.2m containers of imported food, and expected to be 2.3m teu this year.
Report author Gail Bradford said: ?It looks as if China, rather like the UK, is eating its way out of the recession. This may be due to lifestyle changes and a growing demand for more exotic fruit from the Caribbean and South America.?