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China's port operators dented by slow growth

China's port operators dented by slow growth

Shanghai: Shares in Chinese port operators should come under pressure over the rest of the year after a steeper-than-expected fall in the country's June exports underscored the potential for growth to keep tanking, Reuters reports. Analysts said they would review the situation and some may downgrade the sector, although others remained bullish on its long-term prospects with China expected to stay a global trading power. Container traffic growth in China's two largest ports, Shanghai and Shenzhen, slowed sharply in June. Shenzhen, the world's fourth busiest port -- after Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong -- saw just 3.5 percent growth in traffic last month from a year ago and a 0.6 percent decline from May, according to data from the Hong Kong Shippers' Council. Worrying is the fact that the port's premier terminal, Yantian (pictured), in the east, has reported negative growth this year for the first time in its history - a victim of a weak transpacific market.

Growth in Shanghai's container throughput slowed about half, to 10.4 percent for the first six months, from 20 percent in the whole of 2007. Shenzhen grew 7.2 percent in the first six months, down from 14 percent achieved last year.

"We've seen the peak, container terminal shipments are now in a downtrend," said Geoffrey Cheng, an analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research.  [14/7/08]