IMDO: Container Volumes from Asia to Europe Climb

Container volumes from Asia to Europe continued their strong growth in April, with the sub-routes to the Western Mediterranean and North Africa showing the largest volume increases of 6%, the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) said in its Shipping Market Review for the week 24, 2014.

The latest Container Trade Statistics figures as reported by Lloyds List show that overall Asia- Europe volumes increased in April 5.2% year-on-year to 1.2m teu, meaning that for the first four months of the year, volumes have increase 5.8% year-on-year to reach 4.7m teu, the Review reads.

April’s volumes on services from Asia to Northern Europe increased 5.7% from April 2013 to 789,531 teu to suggest an underlying trend in volume growth for the full year of around 5%-6% after a highly volatile start to the year.

January saw a year-on-year increase of 8.5%, however the timing of Chinese New Year brought volume declines of 6.4% in February, with a volumes rebounding in March to increase 13.4%.

Globally, total volumes for deep-sea and intra-regional trades rose 2.4% in April to 10.9m teu, meaning that for the first four months, global volumes have reached 41.6m teu compared with 40.1m teu a year ago.

The dry bulk market continues to struggle with its overall lacklustre performance. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) remained hovering below the 1,000 point mark last week, as the index declined 96 points across the week to finish at 906. All sub-segments saw declines, with the Capesize market losing part of the momentum it had developed over the previous week.

Despite this, according to Fearnley’s latest weekly report, it was a positive week for large vessels, mainly due to increased Atlantic volumes, a major miner taking several ships for front hauls and iron ore deliveries defying worries over record high inventories.

The Panamax segment suffered from steady rate declines across the board with especially low rates in the Atlantic after a short peak last month when rates increased 50%.

Shipbroker Intermodal noted that “the good performance of Capesize rates proved insufficient to inspire the rest of the market, which still operates under soft sentiment.”

IMDO, June 20, 2014

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