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Drewry: Container Port Throughput Down 11.3% During the Past Month

The Drewry Container Port Throughput Indices are a series of volume growth/decline indices based on monthly throughput data for a sample of over 235 ports worldwide, representing over 75% of global volumes. The base point for the indices is January 2012 = 100.

Drewry’s latest assessment – April 2021

• Drewry’s Global Container Port Throughput Index fell to 122 points in February 2021, 11.3% lower than in January 2021. However, the index was 12.5% (13.5 points) higher compared to the 108.5 recorded in February 2020, which was when the initial COVID-19 outbreak in China had started to impact global port volumes.
• The Chinese Port Throughput index dropped almost 22% in February 2021 compared to January 2021 as a result of the usual Chinese New Year factory shutdowns, together with the ongoing impact of global port congestion which is disrupting carrier schedules. Year on year the index stood more than 25 points (27.9%) higher than recorded in February 2020. The scale of the initial impact of the COVID-19 crisis and strength of the recovery is shown in the exceptional annual growth reported across the largest Chinese ports, with Shanghai volumes up 1.1 mteu (48%) in February 2021 compared to February 2020. Similarly throughput at Shenzhen was 0.9 mteu (73%) higher year on year, and Ningbo reported an uplift of 0.6 mteu (40%).
• The Asia (exc. China) index fell 4% to 126.2 points in February 2021, but was 8.5 points (7.2%) higher than reported in February 2020. South Korean ports reported strong year-on-year growth, with combined throughput up 0.3mteu (13%), led by strong performances at Busan and Incheon. In Southeast Asia Malaysian ports were the standout performers with aggregated throughput increasing 0.25mteu (12%) in February 2021 compared to February 2020. In contrast volumes at Singapore were down 0.6% over the same period.

Drewry Port Throughput Index
• The index for Middle East and South Asia also reported a 4% fall on a monthly basis, dropping to 128.8 points in February 2021. Year on year the index is up 3.5 points (2.8%) compared to February 2020, with South Asia driving growth. From our regional sample the privately-owned Mundra port reported the largest increase, with February 2021 volumes up by over 0.1 mteu (28%) compared to last year.
• The North American index continued its downwards trend, dropping a further 13 points (8.5%) in February 2021 compared to January 2021. Ongoing port congestion issues have continued to temper throughput growth. Nonetheless the west coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach reported total combined throughput of 1.57 mteu in February 2021, 45% (0.49 mteu) higher than in February 2020. Overall the North American index stood 13% (6.9 points higher) than in February 2020.
• The European Port Throughput Index dipped just 3.9 points (3.3%) on a monthly basis, a strong performance given that February is the shortest month. However, the resurgence of the virus in Europe, with continuing lockdown measures, has continued to put a brake on economic recovery and the index was just 1.2% higher on an annual basis.
• The Latin American index declined by 3.8 points (3.1%) on a monthly basis to 119.7 in February 2021, which is 7 points (6.1%) higher than the level reached in February 2020. The largest Brazilian port, Santos, has performed strongly with volumes in February 2021 up 4% compared to January 2021, and increasing 13% on an annual basis.

• The Oceania Port Throughput Index fell 10.9 points (7.8%) to 129.1, but was 16.7 points (14.9%) higher on an annual basis due to strong volume growth across the Australian ports.
• The throughput index for Africa was the only region showing positive growth on a monthly basis, increasing 13.9 points (14.9%) in February 2021. However it is the only region where the index in February 2021 was lower than in February 2020. The index is however is based on a small sample size, and figures should be viewed with caution.
Source: Drewry

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