MAERSK Line says the decline of Brazil's global trade appears to be over after a five-year slump and trade is expected to grow one per cent next year.
"Everybody was expecting the economy to recover. So things are not getting worse," Maersk east coast South America trade manager Antonio Dominguez told American Shipper.
Exports will do slightly better than imports, which are forecast to be flat next year, said Mr Dominguez.
Low demand for imports has limited export growth by creating a shortage of ships and containers needed to move commodities out, which are still much in demand given the devaluation of the Real.
The big export is soybean, once moved as bulk but is now containerised, so smaller purchases can be made as well as keeping grain varieties separate. Another high volume export is pulp and paper, also being increasingly containerised.
"The export potential is being capped by the import market," he said.
The big plus is the reefer trade, according to Maersk, which has posted 10 to 15 per cent increases to China in the last year.
Reefers have gained as technology allows perishables to stay fresh longer and carriers offer faster transit times with some carriers are investing more in this market.
Maersk has ordered 50,000 new reefer boxes, bringing its average fleet age down to 7.9 years compared to the industry average of 12 years.
Source : HKSG.