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Singapore June container traffic steadies from May

Singapore June container traffic steadies from May

Singapore: Singapore port terminals handled 17% fewer containers in June from a year ago but traffic was steady from May, Reuters  writes quoting data from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

The numbers show trade at the world's busiest container port has stabilised, and come as the Singapore government said the export-dependent economy leapt out of recession in the second quarter.

But with little change in traffic at the port since April, and an uncertain outlook for demand in key Western export markets, analysts doubt whether a recovery can be sustained.

"The fate of Singapore's economy is heavily dependant on foreign demand," Standard Chartered economist Alvin Liew said.

Singapore relies on exports for about 60% of its economy, and will report June exports data on Friday.

Most containers passing through Singapore's port are transshipments between East and West, and so are a barometer of world trade.

State-owned PSA International, which operates as a commercial company and runs ports around the world, also said container volumes at its Singapore port have fallen 17.8% in the year to June, versus the same period a year ago.

The world trade downturn has battered shipping firms such as Singapore's Neptune Orient Lines and pushed Singapore into its deepest ever economic contraction in the first quarter.  [13/07/09]