Hamburg sees trade with China plummet

Hamburg sees trade with China plummet

The Port of Hamburg‘s volume declined by 8% in Q3 as the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to curtail trade with China.

However, this represents just was half of the decline the Port suffered in Q2, when volume fell by 16.2%, which suggests trade is beginning to recover.

According to Port of Hamburg Marketing’s (HHM) assessment, the results in the third quarter give reason to be optimistic that the double-digit decrease in turnover has ended.

It resulted in particular from a downswing in numerous economic sectors and lower demand for consumer goods. In HHM’s opinion, the third quarter showed signs of a beginning recovery.
Axel Mattern, joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing, commented: “We have seen a stabilization in the development of throughput since July and with it a lower overall decrease in seaborne cargo handling in the Port of Hamburg.

“The reasons can be found in the lower rate of infections during the summer and the resulting easing of measures to check the pandemic, along with shipping to fill up stockpiles for the Christmas trade.”
A total of 6.3 million TEU were handled on Hamburg’s quays in the first three quarters, a decrease of 9.9% year-on-year (YoY). The decline was largely attributed to an 11.3% drop in trade with China.
However, there was growth in trade with some countries, most notable the UK, 41%, Singapore, 7.1%, and Malaysia, 5.5%. Trade with the US also rose by 0.1% and the country is now the Port’s second biggest trade partner.

Ingo Elgoff, joint CEO, explained: “The ongoing positive development in container traffic for the USA is surprising in light of the economy, which is suffering from the effects of the pandemic and the decline in demand.”

“The growth in container shipping for Great Britain is based on an upswing in inbound empty containers for the German market and increased shipments to Great Britain in advance of the impending Brexit.”

“Despite the ongoing recovery since mid-year, we will not be able to reach the high level achieved last year.

“But developments since July give reason to hope that we will show just single-digit losses at the end of the year.”

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