What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 6

Coronavirus outbreak may cost China's ports six million teu in Q1

The Chinese government’s decision to extend the new year holiday to 9 and 10 February, as it battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, could lead to a 0.7% decline in global port throughput, according to new analysis from Alphaliner.

And the consultant says the reduction of China’s factory output as a result of the extended holiday is likely to lead to Chinese ports losing some 6m teu in volumes in the first quarter.

Source: The Loadstar


Maersk, CMA CGM blank sailings as coronavirus spreads

Carriers canceling port of calls and blanking sailings is not an uncommon practice around the Lunar New Year as output, and therefore demand, for export transport from China slows. 

The spreading coronavirus has extended the holiday and production shutdown, prolonging the usual seasonal slump on trade lanes out of Asia. The Chinese government requested companies operating in the country stay closed until Monday, according to CMA CGM. In addition, many local governments extended the holidays to Feb. 9 and Feb. 13 in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located. 

Source: Supply Chain Dive


America’s trade deficit with the EU reaches record $178 billion

The European Union’s trade surplus with the U.S. just hit a record high in 2019, a milestone the bloc probably doesn’t want noticed too widely in Washington given upcoming talks with an American president who’s intent on fixing economic imbalances.

The U.S. deficit in goods trade with the EU last year rose to $178 billion from $169 billion a year earlier, according to Commerce Department figures released Wednesday. A decade ago, the U.S. shortfall with the EU was about $61 billion.

Source: American Journal of Transportation


British Ports Association concerned about Brexit comments

The British Ports Association has voiced concern about the February 3 comments made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Greenwich. The British Ports Association is now calling on the Government to clarify the mixed messages sent on trade.

Speaking about a future trading relationship with the E.U., Johnson said: “We want a comprehensive free trade agreement similar to Canada’s."

Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, said in response that Canada’s trading relationship with the E.U. is a free-trade agreement and includes some measure of [regulatory] alignment, although the Prime Minister seemed to suggest today that the UK is not seeking “alignment of any kind.”

Source: The Maritime Executive


East Coast ports see growth in 2019 while West Coast imports fall

Overall volumes on the West Coast still dwarf the East Coast. Loaded imports at Savannah grew by 7% YoY in 2019, but in December its total volume for the month (172,124 TEUs) was about half that of Long Beach (323,231 TEUs).

East Coast ports have been gaining market share following the expansion of the Panama Canal. Neopanamax ships allow more cargo to flow through to the East Coast.

Source: Supply Chain Dive