Congestion at Chinese ports easing

Published on
December 15, 2021
Congestion at major Chinese ports is easing and is in some cases better than the situation in U.S. ports, according to investment bank Natixis and the Kiel Trade Indicator.

Congestion at major Chinese ports is easing and is in some cases better than the situation in U.S. ports, according to investment bank Natixis and the Kiel Trade Indicator.

The percentage of goods tied up by waiting ships in Chinese and U.S. ports receded in November (12 percent) compared to August (14 percent), but remains at a high level compared to March 2020 (8 percent).

The percentage of shipping capacity tied up by waiting ships is lower at key Chinese port Ningbo (1.5 percent) than it is in Los Angeles (3 percent), while congestion in the Pearl River Delta (serving Guangdong Province) is at a similar level to that in Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A., at 3 percent.

While the percentage of goods globally that remain on stationary ships is at a three-year high, according to the Kiel Trade Indicator, which estimates trade flows between 75 countries and regions worldwide, it said the trend is improving.  

Even as it adds restrictions at ports to control outbreaks of COVID-19, China is under pressure to revive economic growth through increasing exports, as it faces down a massive real estate debt crisis.

In early December, the Chinese government cut the ratio of cash that banks must hold in reserve, seeking to release more money into the economy. Having spent the past decade attempting to reduce corporate debt while at the same time looking to continue investment-driven growth, China is now acting more aggressively to restructure debt at property developers like Evergrande, even at the cost of a potential deceleration of growth through less investment and lower housing prices.

Photo courtesy of trekandshoot/Shutterstock

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