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TRANSPORTCEO - 16/02/2018
Shipments of TEUs between northern Europe and Asia increased by 4.2% until November.
Demand between Asia and Northern Europe increased by only 0.1% year-on-year, so the 1.6% growth in these values between October and November last year was significantly slowed.
The annual growth rate for 2017 was around 4.9% according to Drewry's estimates due to the slowdown expected in the last quarter of the year. However, the figures were even worse than the consultant had expected, and year-on-year growth in November ended at 4.2%. The number of TEUs grew by about 9.1 million containers.
Growth is now estimated to be even lower, at 3.4% in particular. This does not change the fact that the growth expected for 2017 is the most notable since 2014. The reasons for this growth come from the Russian economic recovery, growing demand for Asian products in Poland and Scandinavian countries.
If the dynamics continue, forecasts predict an increase of over 10 million TEUS in 2018. Although these estimates are hampered by the uncertainties of the British economy and the complex German market.
The Chinese New Year is boosting freight rates between Shanghai and Rotterdam but will not affect the majority of BCO's annual contracts that have been set at levels similar to those of 2017 according to Drewry. It is also necessary to take into account the post-holiday downturn in China, so the market must take advantage of previous growth.
Spot rates fell sharply during the last months of 2017, so annual contracts were devalued, leaving the growth maintained during the rest of the year without effect.
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