Asia to southern Africa container trade rebounded in 2017 and has started 2018 with gusto. Southbound volumes this year are expected to surpass those recorded in 2013.
This is according to maritime analyst, Drewry, who highlighted in their latest Container Weekly Insight report that Asian exports to southern Africa had grown by 5.6% in 2017.
According to Container Trade Statistics (CTS) last year’s exports grew fastest from North Asia, which rose by 6.8% to 175 000 TEUs, closely followed by Southeast Asia (up 6.3% to 133000 TEUs) and Greater China (up 4.9% to 464 000 TEUs).
“Last year’s recovery put an end to a miserable run of three years of either declining or flat volumes. Based on the start to this year and brighter economic prospects for the inbound region, Drewry expects 2018 to see southbound Asia to southern Africa volume surpass that of 2013,” said a Drewry analyst. He pointed out that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was currently forecasting steady GDP annual growth for South Africa over the next five years of approximately 2%, which would reverse the decelerating trend seen in the first six years of this decade.
Despite the upturn in demand, there has been relatively little action from carriers in terms of services. There are currently 11 weekly loops serving the Asia-southern Africa trade and the last significant addition was made towards the end of last year when MSC started the ‘Ingwe’ service using nine ships of around 8 000 TEUs.
(source FTW Online)