ASIA-EUROPE container volume was down for the fourth consecutive month year on year, a trend blamed on weak European demand and China’s slowing economy.
The one ray of hope from Container Trades Statistics (CTS) data is that global box numbers overall were up in June by 0.6 per cent to 11.9 million TEU – a third consecutive monthly increase.
For the first six months of the year, global volumes continue to track above last year at 1.1 per cent rising from 67.8 million TEU to 68.6 million TEU, noted Lloyd’s Loading List.
But not where the big money is made – the latest CTS data show that Asia-Europe volumes in June were down 7.7 per cent to 1.3 million TEU, and by 4.3 per cent on a month-to-month basis.
Asia-Europe box numbers at the halfway stage of 2015 hit 7.3 million TEU and represented a 4.2 per cent decline year on year.
The biggest drop was on the Asia-west Mediterranean and North Africa trade, where volumes fell 15.5 per cent over last year to 212,167 TEU. Year-to-date volumes to the region of 1.3 million TEU were down 5.7 per cent compared to 2014.
Meanwhile, volumes from Asia to the east Mediterranean and the Black Sea slipped 9.8 per cent in June to 225,530 TEU. Thus volumes are 4.8 per cent lower at the halfway point of 2015.
Asia-north Europe volumes volumes fell 6.1 per cent in June to 837,157 TEU, but posting a first half decline of 3.6 per cent to 4.8 million TEU at the halfway point against last year when volumes nearly hit five million TEU.
The CTS freight rate index for the Asia-north Europe trade fell to its lowest level in June since the same month in 2009, after carriers once again failed to make rate hikes stick.