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Maersk Asia chief positive on short term prospects

Maersk Asia chief positive on short term prospects

Singapore: Jesper Praestensgaard ceo for Maersk Line in the Asia Pacific is positive on the short term prospects for the container trades, but warns of the "knife edge" of laid up capacity. "At the moment things are looking up and space is very tight," Praestensgaard told an Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers forum in Singapore. He said prospects for the demand side were strong beyond the Chinese New Year holidays. He also noted freight rates had come up, but remained far below 2008 levels. Shipping lines have push able to up rates sharply in recent months, especially out of China ports ahead of the New Year holidays. Last year though Maersk said box rates fell by around 30%. However while the short term outlook is positive the issue, there remains the question mark of whether some of the 11% of the global boxship fleet that is laid up will come back into service and the effect this will have. "That is truly balancing on a knife edge," he warned. [09/02/10]

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