Global trade news by Hebei Longsheng

The Week in Global Trade in Numbers

NAFTA negotiations are not making good progress, with round four of the talks resulting in an extension in the schedule to 1Q 2018. A completion this year was expected, but all three sides are proving intransigent on key issues. Vice President Pence’s visit to Japan to meet Deputy PM Asō focussed on sector-specifics rather than a big trade deal, but yielded results in the agriculture (potatoes) and autos (testing limits) industries. By contrast protectionist policies can have unintended consequences. Tariffs against Bombardier’s C-Series jet, set at Boeing’s behest, have led Airbus to take control of the business and expand its U.S. manufacturing.

In logistics the freight forwarders had a mixed week, with K+N expanding its rail operations in the rapidly expanding China-to-Europe routes, but both it and Panalpina missed analysts’ expectations for 3Q profits. In Panalpina’s case that was the 11th drop in the past 12 quarters. Trade activity remains strong though, with southern Californian port activity continuing to grow, and Shanghai deciding to expand its free trade zone to ensure continued expansion.

4%: Container handling through Los Angeles and Long Beach grew by 13% in September vs. a year earlier, the seventh straight increase. Imports led the way, with China becoming increasingly important after imports improved by 11%. 
LA’s exports fell by 12%, the first decline since June 2016. When combined with Oakland total exports from California likely fell by 4%, and that’s before the toll wildfires may have on the local economy.

11: China-outbound containerized freight rates fell for an 11th straight time in the period immediately after the Golden Week holiday. The decline of 4% was led by lower rates on Mediterranean and north European routes, with 
short-term oversupply likely to be the main problem. Recent newbuild capacity announcements won’t be helping. The last time a rate decline this long was seen was January 2015.


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