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SIPG sees fall in container volumes as China trade slumps

SIPG sees fall in container volumes as China trade slumps

Shanghai: Annual cargo box traffic at the Port of Shanghai fell for the first time in more than three decades on slumping demand for Chinese exports, delaying the port's bid to surpass Singapore as the world's busiest container hub, writes Bloomberg. Shanghai's container volume fell 11% to 25m teu in 2009, Shanghai International Port (Group) Co. said on its Web site today. It was the first annual decline since Chinas government started the container port facility in the city in 1978, Du Qidong, deputy secretary general of the China Ports & Harbors Association, said by phone yesterday.

Overseas shipments from China, the world's second-biggest exporting nation, fell 16% last year as the global recession cut demand. Asian container lines have parked vessels and slashed sailings as consumers in the U.S. and Europe buy fewer textiles, computers and furniture.

Container traffic is due to rebound this year, helped by increasing exports, said Zhu Anping, an analyst at Shenyin Wanguo Securities Co. in Shanghai. China's ports may report a 10% increase in container volume this year, Zhu said.

Singapore handled 25.9m teu last year, a 14% decline from a year earlier, according to the Web site of the countrys Maritime & Port Authority. The city-state overtook Hong Kong as the worlds biggest container port in 2005.

Shanghai's container volumes rose 7.1% to 2.4m teu in December. It was the first increase in a year. Overall cargo volume fell 1.1% to 365m tons for the full year, the port operator said.  [12/01/10]