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Ningbo Port and Shipping Economy Starting Steadily in the First Quarter

Since the beginning of this year, as the global economic recovery has improved, port and shipping production has performed well, with cargo throughput, container throughput and other indicators showing double-digit growth year-on-year. Information from Ningbo Port and Shipping Management Center shows that in the first quarter, Ningbo Port completed a cargo throughput of 152,989,700 tons, an increase of 17.82% year-on-year and an increase of 7.27% year-on-year; completed container throughput of 7.22 million TEUs, year-on-year An increase of 23.96%, an increase of 12.65% over the same period in 2019.

"On the one hand, it was because of the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic last year, and the base was low; on the other hand, the 'staying for New Year's Day' policy accelerated the progress of enterprises to resume production." An official from the Ningbo Port and Shipping Management Center explained.

The port index has obvious seasonal characteristics. The Ningbo Port Index showed that the average value of the port prosperity index in the first quarter was 116.8 points, an increase of 7.3% year-on-year; the port enterprise confidence index was 109.8 points, an increase of 15.3% year-on-year. From the perspective of business operations, in the first two months, the total profit of 81 port operating companies included in the monitoring scope of the port economic platform increased by 4.9% year-on-year, and the profit margin increased by 7.5 percentage points.

In terms of cargo types, coal, iron ore and crude oil all increased year-on-year by more than 10%. In the first quarter, Ningbo Port completed a coal throughput of 14.496 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 30.12%. Affected by the cold wave at the beginning of the year, demand for replenishment of power plants increased, and driven by the rapid recovery of the secondary industry after the holiday, industrial electricity demand was strong, coal demand increased sharply, and the imbalance of supply and demand caused coal prices to rise. The iron ore throughput was 25,478,800 tons, a year-on-year increase of 13.64% and a month-on-month increase of 34.89%. After the holiday, iron ore prices fluctuated at a high level, the market sentiment on the sidelines was strong, and steel mills were more cautious in purchasing. In the first quarter, the throughput of crude oil was 16.7899 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 12.28%. In March, the international crude oil market was mixed with longs and shorts, vaccine promotion was slow, economic recovery was blocked, and crude oil prices continued to fall. At the end of the month, the congestion of the Suez Canal caused market supply concerns, and crude oil prices stopped falling and rebounded in the short term.

The container throughput has grown rapidly. In the first quarter, international departures and international arrivals increased by 22.71% and 19.85% year-on-year, respectively, and 10.8% and 9.31% respectively compared with the same period in 2019. Demand on North American routes continues to be strong, freight rates fluctuate at high levels, and demand on European routes has recovered slowly. The container sea-rail combined transportation business maintained a rapid growth momentum. In the first quarter, it completed 267,100 TEU, an increase of 40.09% year-on-year and an increase of 52.72% year-on-year.

The shipping industry prosperity index fluctuated slightly. The Ningbo Shipping Economic Index shows that from January to March, the average shipping industry prosperity index was 106.5 points, an increase of 11.8% year-on-year; the average shipping enterprise confidence index was 100.8 points, an increase of 16.2% year-on-year. The scope of corporate losses has significantly narrowed compared with the same period last year, and the corporate loss rate has decreased by 15.4% compared with the same period last year.

Goods turnover has recovered well. In the first quarter, the city completed 69,276,800 tons of waterway freight, a year-on-year increase of 21.74%; total turnover of 81.389 billion ton-kilometers, a year-on-year increase of 25.96%; cargo turnover of 81.388 billion ton-kilometers, an increase of 25.96% year-on-year, an increase of 10.7 percentage points higher than the province.

The relevant person of Ningbo Port and Shipping Management Center said that in the next stage, we should continue to pay attention to the chain reaction caused by the congestion of the Suez Canal. First, the shipping schedule is severely delayed and the available capacity is reduced. Affected by the epidemic, the global shipping market is already in a state of severe shipping delays, especially in the European and North American markets with huge cargo volumes, and there has been a shortage of space and even a shortage of capacity. Due to the concentrated berthing of a large backlog of ships after the evacuation, the ship delay cycle will inevitably be further lengthened, and the capacity turnover efficiency will continue to decline. On the European and North American routes with strong trade demand, the gap in capacity and demand may gradually increase. Second, the freight rate of the route has seen a significant increase. The reduction in available capacity caused by the blockage of the canal may promote the realization of the original price increase plan of the liner company, and will also cause a chain reaction on other routes.

In addition, attention must be paid to logistics risks. At present, foreign trade companies are still under the pressure of logistics and transportation costs caused by high ocean freight. The early blockage of the canal may lead to delayed delivery of goods, loss or damage of goods, prolonged goods realization cycle, foreign trade enterprises’ capital turnover risks and destination collection risks may increase

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