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COSCO's Wei anticipates rate rise this quarter

COSCO's Wei anticipates rate rise this quarter

Shanghai:  COSCO ceo Wei Jiafu  has stated that business is looking up for the COSCO Group as a recovering Chinese economy helps boost trade and international freight prices, reports Reuters. "Even a slight tick-up in the macro economy will surely enhance trade flows, which will benefit the shipping industry," Jiafu told the newswire on the sidelines of the Boao Forum.

COSCO Group is the parent company of China's largest shipping conglomerate, China Cosco, Chinese shipbuilder Cosco Corp and COSCO Pacific, the world's fifth largest port operator.

While China's annual economic growth slowed to its weakest pace on record in the first quarter, analysts said sequential growth in the quarter almost doubled from the previous three months. The rate of decline in Chinese exports also slowed in March from February.

The global shipping industry, battered by its worst crisis in decades, has seen dry cargo rates dive more than 90% after a five-year boom.

"The situation for the first quarter was definitely not good as trade volume slumped. But it is improving impressively in the second quarter as shipping and leasing costs are trending up," Wei said.

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, the Baltic Dry Index .BADI, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, has recovered strongly to about 1,680 from lows below 800 in the fourth quarter.

Wei said that the freight rate for each of his company's standard containers heading to Europe rose by about $150 in April.  [20/04/09]