ASIA-east coast North America volumes in 2016 are expected to fall below the 15 per cent growth achieved last year despite the opening of an expanded Panama Canal, according to London's Drewry Maritime Research.
Eastbound volumes on the trade lane "rose 7.7 per cent year-on-year in November - better than the recording for October but still a far cry from the heady double-digit growth rates that prevailed for well over a year until the end of the third quarter," said Drewry.
"December figures for Asian exports bound for the core USEC market reveal an uplift of only 2.2 per cent compared to a year earlier," said Drewry, according to American Shipper.
"In the same month, overall imports into the US from the Far East dipped by 0.8 per cent, thus the eastern seaboard terminals are still outperforming their west coast counterparts but the margin has shrunk," said Drewry.
"A global recession cannot be discounted but the current bear run on stocks is not proof that one is imminent. Trade indicators haven't weakened significantly in the last month to make us think world container traffic is about to go into reverse," said Drewry analysts.
"It is too early to tell if the latest stock market bearishness is indeed an early signal of a global recession, or simply herd-like panic, but as far as the prospects for container trade go there hasn't been a significant change in the fundamentals to shift us from our current prognosis of continued muted growth in the short-to-medium term," they said.
Source : HKSG.