The Port of Hamburg Marketing Association has slashed its forecast for container volumes at Hamburg’s port, a hub for eastern European trade, due to weakening growth in China and shrinking trade with Russia.
The association said on Monday it now expects container volumes to fall 7 percent to 9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit containers) this year, compared with a previous forecast for 3 percent growth to 10 million TEUs.
China is by far the biggest trade partner for the Hamburg port, accounting for almost 3 million TEUs in 2014. Russia is the second biggest with 0.66 million TEUs in 2014.
In the first half of 2015, container volume at Hamburg’s port, where logistics firms such as HHLA, Eurogate and Buss operate terminals, fell 7 percent to 4.5 million TEUs.
Shipments to and from China by container fell 11 percent during the period.
China’s factory activity shrank in July at the fastest rate in two years, the country’s stock markets have slumped 30 percent since mid-June and growth could soon fall below 7 percent for the first time since early 2009.
Hamburg port’s container traffic with Russia was down by more than a third, hit by Western sanctions on Russia and Russia’s retaliatory ban on food imports.
(Reporting by Jan Schwartz; writing by Maria Sheahan; editing by David Clarke)