New Articles

Container Data Points to Expectations of Demand Revival as China Reopens and Rates Stabilize

CGX china

Container Data Points to Expectations of Demand Revival as China Reopens and Rates Stabilize

As China reopens after three long years of Zero-covid policy, early Lunar New Year and COVID infections kept the overall market bearish, but the January month’s global container trading and leasing data from Container xChange, an online container logistics platform, indicates that the container traders and operators expect a demand rebound into the month of February.

Early indicators already show container operators expecting a demand bounce back—as the pickup charges from China to Europe Med for 40 ft High cube containers have increased by 9.7% from $513 in week 1 to $563 in week 5. 

Source: xChange Insights (a subscription-only real-time data tool for container logistics companies)

Similarly, average prices for 40 ft high cube containers increased from $3662 in week 1 in China, and increased by 3.6% to $3794 in week 5. Though the increase is not significant, the fact that the downward trajectory has reversed is a good sign for many in the industry. 

Source: xChange Insights

As we progress into the new year, according to the latest Container xChange data, the container prices in China show signs of stabilization— though still elevated than 2020 peak shipping and demand boom. 

Long term view of Average Container prices at key ports in China (40HC cargo worthy), Source: xChange Insights

Another key development is the increased availability of containers in China. The CAx readings stay elevated as compared to last three years across the ports of Shanghai, Ningbo, Tianjin and more. This indicates more inbound containers and few outbound containers which corroborates well with the current situation of factory closures in China and labour shortage there because of the infections. 

The CAx  (Container availability index) measures the ratio of inbound to outbound containers port-wise—and a reading above 0.5 suggest more inbound than outbound containers at the ports in China. 

Shanghai CAx 2021-23

Usually, the rise in inbound containers at this time of the year is because of the seasonal repositioning of containers back to China to balance out after peak season. 

“The strategy of repositioning containers back to Asia after the peak season gains strength from the clearance strategy in the US and in Europe. This effectively takes the capacity out of the market, and we see that this has been top priority this year for carriers. The situation further helps in stabilising the prices which has been the need of the hour for the current situation of supply chain globally.” comments Christian Roeloffs, cofounder and CEO, Container xChange

“The rebound of trade in China, and hence the container trade rebound, will depend on the pace of the reopening in China, that is, how quickly do production volumes return to normal there. It is going to be interesting to see what happens when inventory stock levels in import countries have been rebalanced and there is a need to reorder. Effectively the question is whether importers are still wary of supply chain disruptions that will influence them to buy early or will they return to ‘just-in-time’ model. In any case, we do expect to see a demand uptick—also because recent GDP figures make a recession in Europe less likely. However, because demand really plummeted a lot, we will not see demand reviving to pre-covid levels or even the ‘during covid’ levels too quickly.” Roeloffs added. 

China’s official manufacturing PMI came in at 50.1 for January, up from 47 in December. 

demand shanghai customer

Supply Chain Pressure Mounts as Shanghai Extends Lockdown

Due to rising cases of COVID-19, the lockdown in Shanghai has been extended – sparking congestion fears amongst port officials.

China’s largest city went into lockdown on 28 March. While the lockdown was initially intended to last 10 days, it has now been extended.

On 2 April, Shanghai reported 438 confirmed locally transmitted cases and 7,788 asymptomatic carriers.

Despite this, operations at the Port of Shanghai remain active, with industrial companies and customs switching to a two-shift operation.

Although preventative measures have been implemented at China’s largest port, authorities across the world are beginning to see delays in supply chains.

“The COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai is causing a local lockdown that is also affecting the port,” said the Port of Hamburg in a statement, noting that Shanghai is now in a state of “emergency” in managing COVID-19 transmission.

“The extent to which this will have an impact in Hamburg is not yet foreseeable. This will only become evident in a few weeks’ time.”

For the Port of Hamburg, Shanghai is one of the most important ports in China trade as they are connected by 13 liner services and four general cargo services.

In an attempt to alleviate the pressure on road transportation caused by the impacts of the crisis, the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) has announced the launch of a container “land-to-water” service, covering the ports in the Yangshan area and Waigaoqiao area of Shanghai port to related ports in the Yangtze River Delta areas.

Under the service, customers can first transport containers to the Taicang Service Center, and then transfer them by ship to Shanghai Port and divert customers’ road transportation needs to waterways.

nuclear ukraine putin united NATO

How Will the Russia-Ukraine War Reshape the World? (Part 4)

A brave new world

As in the “nuclear apocalypse” scenario, Russia has launched a tactical nuclear missile inside Ukraine opposite the US/NATO safe haven in Poland that is supplying training and military equipment to the Ukrainian resistance. Many in the United States want to hit a Russian city with cruise missiles in retaliation, appalling European leaders who see in such a move the start of a nuclear Armageddon. European pressure convinces Washington to hold off on military action just as China intervenes to force Russia to take its nuclear forces off high alert.

The shock of the first use of nuclear weapons in nearly eight decades triggers widespread fear that Russia’s strike could become a nuclear version of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that sparked World War I. The United Nations (UN) secretary-general convenes a peace conference in which China, Israel, and the European Union (EU) work closely together to broker a settlement.

A ceasefire is imposed in Ukraine, policed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and UN peacekeepers (some from China’s People’s Liberation Army). Over the next nine months, the warring parties agree to a deal that ensures the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and the easing of Western sanctions against Russia so long as Moscow adheres to the bargain.

As part of the agreement, Ukraine adopts a new posture as a neutral state, a strategic buffer between East and West, defined in a new federal constitution approved in a referendum. It pursues economic ties to the EU and, to assuage Russian concerns and facilitate reconstruction in eastern Ukraine, it also joins Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union. It retains the ability to arm itself for its own defense within limits agreed to as part of larger NATO-Russia conventional arms limits and confidence-building measures. Crimea is recognized by the UN as part of Russia after its inhabitants vote to join the country in an internationally supervised referendum.

Donetsk and Luhansk become semi-autonomous regions under the new Ukrainian constitution. As part of new European security arrangements, Western European countries successfully pressure the United States and Eastern European NATO members to rescind the Alliance’s 2008 promise to extend membership to Ukraine and Georgia. A reinvented OSCE plays a larger security role in the region. But NATO’s charter is unchanged, leaving its open-door policy in place in theory.

Building on the global backlash against Russia crossing the nuclear Rubicon, the UN secretary-general leads an effort to ban all tactical nuclear weapons and return to the goal of nuclear disarmament. There is a growing nuclear disarmament movement in Europe as well. The United States and Russia negotiate START III, agreeing to reduce deployed nuclear warheads to one thousand each. Additional accords governing conventional force reductions curb US and Russian force levels and weapons systems.

Well after the peace conference ends the war in Ukraine, with Russia’s 2024 elections drawing near, a group of oligarchs and senior military and intelligence officials deliver an ultimatum to Putin: resign or face war-crime trials. Putin decides to retires to his dacha to write his memoirs. The Russian people, seeking reform, renewed ties with the United States and the West, and to not become dependent on China, elect a coalition government that includes the onetime exiled businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky and formerly imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny. Still, even under new leadership, it takes Russia years to repair and diversify its economy, and incrementally rebuild trust and reshape ties with the West.

The peace negotiations over Ukraine help spark an economic rebound across the world. China’s efforts to mediate the conflict, which included exerting pressure on Russia by refusing a financial bailout of Moscow, lead to a reset in Sino-US ties. That, in turn, results in a framework for competitive coexistence, with strategic decoupling of the tech and (to some degree) financial sectors, along with a more businesslike relationship between the two powers.

Many in Congress nevertheless press the US administration to not ease up on countering assertive Chinese behavior against Taiwan and in the South and East China Seas. The growth in Chinese soft power because of its role in initiating peace talks worries Washington, as the great powers continue to eye each other warily while avoiding direct conflict. Consensus among democracies and like-minded governments on trade and technology rules and standards spurs China to limit its ambitions and scale back its industrial polices, leading to reform of the World Trade Organization. With a post-Putin Russia and a more cooperative China, the Group of Twenty (G20) acquires more cachet and begins to address other global governance issues from climate change to ethical standards for artificial intelligence.

A new world, whatever the scenario

The scenarios above illustrate the various ways geopolitics could be transformed depending on what trajectory the conflict over Ukraine takes next. But in several respects the geopolitical chess pieces are already in different positions on the board than they were before hostilities erupted.

Europe, for example, will never be the same again. It has assumed a more robust role in this crisis than many would have predicted beforehand, with Germany turning away from seventy-five years of relative pacifism and the European Union (EU) uniting to phase out its dependence on Russian energy. More broadly, the war has provided a new impetus for closer collaboration among most democracies. Even if there is a ceasefire and peace settlement, Russian decline has accelerated.

In the United States, the Biden administration’s plan for pivoting to Asia to counter China has been upended. The United States will increase its attention on—and flow more resources and forces to—Europe for the remainder of Biden’s term. There is more of an open question when it comes to China: Given Xi’s closeness to Putin, the war in Ukraine offers Beijing an opportunity to become a peacemaker. But will it grasp the opportunity?

This section examines the enduring changes in the world that are evident so far and how our scenarios could further impact the movement of these repositioned chess pieces.

cargoai donation Qatar Airways Cargo Teams Up with Cainiao to Launch a Weekly Charter Flight Linking China and Brazil

Qatar Airways Cargo Teams Up with Cainiao to Launch a Weekly Charter Flight Linking China and Brazil

Cainiao partners with Qatar Airways Cargo to support e-commerce growth in South America with the launch of a weekly Boeing 777 freighter service linking Hong Kong (HKG), China, and São Paulo (GRU), Brazil.

 DOHA, Qatar/HANGZHOU, China – Cainiao Network (Cainiao), the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, announced the partnership with Qatar Airways Cargo to launch a weekly charter flight from Hong Kong (HKG), China, to São Paulo (GRU), Brazil, and serve one of Cainiao’s fastest-growing e-commerce destinations in Latin America.

On 5 March, the first Cainiao chartered Boeing 777 freighter departed Hong Kong Airport (HKG) at 6.45 p.m. UTC, headed for Guarulhos Airport (GRU), São Paulo, Brazil, with a tech stop at Qatar Airways Cargo’s hub in Doha, Qatar. The cargo on board included online retail products such as beauty and fashion goods, jewelry, watches, appliances, toys, and sports equipment. Operating once a week, the Boeing 777 freighter provides 100 tonnes of cargo capacity.

“Cainiao’s mission is to deliver globally within 72 hours; a goal that can be achieved with the right logistics partners. In just over a year, Cainiao has established a comprehensive operation in Latin America, and we see that e-commerce retail in Brazil, in particular, is growing at a phenomenal rate. With Qatar Airways Cargo, we are in a good position to support that growth, and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership,” says William Xiong, Cainiao’s Chief Strategist and General Manager for Export Logistics. Cainiao has experienced a three-figure growth rate in its Latin American business over the past year and has driven a focused air cargo network expansion in recent months to secure smooth supply chain performance.

“There is no doubt that e-commerce is not only here to stay but is also one of the fastest-growing commodities within logistics, today. It demands versatility, speed, accuracy, and a reliable, global network,” Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo of Qatar Airways Cargo, explains. “We are constantly enhancing our service offering. We launched specialized e-commerce products with charter programs, among others, back in 2015, already – around the same time as we began operations to Guarulhos, São Paulo. We are therefore in a strong position to assist Cainiao, both with our understanding of and experience in handling fast-moving consumer goods, as well as with our established network and trained staff at all three charter touchpoints: in Hong Kong, at our state-of-the-art hub in Doha, and at São Paulo. We are delighted to welcome Cainiao on board.”

trade war

Update: Who Is Winning The U.S.-China Trade War?

In 2018, U.S. President Donald J. Trump initiated a trade war with China. The trade war, which has never officially ended, continues to this day. Neither side appears to be winning and many bystander countries are benefiting as a result of this international dispute. 

In some cases, these countries are seeing a number of positive impacts, including an increase in trade exports. This article will take a look at where the U.S.-China trade war currently stands and what outcomes have occurred as a result.


An end to globalization?

One of the main concerns springing from the U.S.-China trade war was that it would damage the international economy and bring an end to globalization. Specifically, because the United States and China are the two largest global economies. However, even a global pandemic could not totally destroy the integrated economies of the world. 

Recent research demonstrates that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods resulted in higher import prices in the U.S. and the Chinese retaliatory measures ended up harming Chinese importers. In the end, two-way trade between the U.S. and China dried up. However, contrary to speculators’ fears, globalization has not disappeared and many bystander countries benefited from the trade war through increased exports.

Explaining Bystander Country Growth

It seems unsurprising that global participants would fill the void after China was axed from the U.S. trade pipeline. Countries like Mexico, Malaysia, and Vietnam benefited the most. However, more surprisingly is that global trade, in products affected by the trade war, increased 3% relative to products not impacted by tariffs. So, not only did imports from other countries increase, but overall global trade increased.

One possible theory is that countries saw the trade war as a chance to expand their global market presence. China, which utilized a zero-COVID policy over the past few years, saw lags in its trade activity as a result. These gaps in global trade gave countries the opportunity to invest in additional trade opportunities or the chance to mobilize larger portions of their workforce. These changes enabled countries to increase exports without increasing prices.

Another theory explaining the growth is how third countries were able to export more to the U.S. and China. This change shrank their per-unit costs of production and economies of scale thus allowing them to offer more products for lower prices. Countries, where global export prices are declining, are also those where the largest increases in global exports are occurring.

Country Trade Growth Factors

One might wonder, what more could be done to take advantage of these types of trade wars in the future? Some countries increased exports overall. Others reallocated their trade by shifting their exports from other countries to the U.S. Finally, in some cases countries saw an overall decrease because they sold less overall. Two primary factors emerged to explain these patterns.

Deep Trade Agreements

Deep trade agreements (agreements that go beyond just tariff regulation, but include other behind-the-border protections) were significant. In a “deep” trade agreement fundamental economic integration provisions, like tariff preferences, export taxes, investments, and intellectual property rights are combined with other provisions. The first layer of these provisions usually supports economic integration like rules of origin and anti-dumping and countervailing duties. Then, other provisions that promote social welfare, like environmental laws or labor market regulations are added in, on top. 

Trade agreements beyond just tariff preferences and other fundamental provisions help minimize fixed costs of expanding into foreign markets. Countries with these types of agreements had the necessary security to expand trade as the U.S. and China vie for economic supremacy.

Accumulated Foreign Direct Investment

Deep trade agreements weren’t the only important factor though. Accumulated foreign direct investment was also significant. Foreign direct investment is different from other types of investment because FDI occurs when an investor based in a home country acquires an asset in a foreign nation with the intent to manage that asset. Many areas that are undergoing increased social, political, and economic connections to global markets also see increased direct foreign investment.

Foreign direct investment is significant because it helps manage the utilization of scarce global resources. Poor countries often lack the necessary capital to build the necessary economic infrastructure. By receiving these foreign funds, which are managed from abroad, countries can better develop their economies.

Supply chains interacted like dominoes

Analysts at the Peterson Institute for International Economics predicted as far back as 2016 that U.S. tariffs would cause widespread production shifts in a “daisy chain.” In essence, when U.S. tariffs hit China, companies moved production to a third country. This move then caused other activities in third countries to be shuffled. 

Analysts have noted that the complexity of modern supply chains makes predicting these outcomes difficult to predict. However, countries that were more integrated into the global economy seemed more likely to land firm relocations.

No Reshoring of U.S. Jobs

Unfortunately, relocations did not occur in the United States. Supporters of the trade war often hoped that it would result in the reshoring of U.S. jobs. Others were supportive because it demonstrated a way to hold China accountable for its deleterious authoritarianism. 

In any case, the trade war did not result in massive amounts of jobs returning to the United States as many had hoped – although admittedly this is something that’s difficult to measure. Overall, third countries were the main winners as they replaced Chinese imports with their own.

Bystander countries benefited the most, especially those with a high degree of trade integration. A good business plan can help a business navigate trying times. In the same sense, countries that adopted a strategy for global trade shakeups came out on top. Despite worries of an end to globalization, the trade war seems to have actually diversified trade and spread opportunities to other countries. In reality, the trade war has helped push us towards a world where trade is not monopolized by the U.S. and China.


Initially, we asked who was winning the U.S.-China trade war? The answer is clear: third countries with deep connections to international partners. This means countries that were able to take advantage of supply-chain shakeups and countries that already had existing trade agreements and large amounts of foreign investment. 

For the United States, and China, it appears that the trade war did not result in any major gains. Some analysts believe that it does more harm than good. The U.S. did not see any increased reshoring of jobs and economic activities. Really, the U.S. replaced Chinese imports with imports from alternative countries


Copper Prices to Slump in 2022 on Rising Supply

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Copper – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The average annual copper price is forecast to drop by 6% y-o-y to $8,800 per tonne this year. Boosting supply in the global copper ore market is to push prices down, while the global demand languishes with slowed construction activity in China.

According to World Bank’s data and October outlook, the average annual copper price soared by 51% y-o-y to $9,317 per tonne in 2021 but is set to decline approximately to $8,800 per tonne this year, as the global output recovers from the Сovid crisis.

The forecast is shaped by boosting copper ore supply thanks to the launch of the Kamoa-Kakula mine in the Congo, while global demand is reducing with slowed down construction activity in China. The mine owner, Canadian company Ivanhoe Mines, has announced its plans to increase production from 106K tonnes in 2021 to 340K tonnes in 2022.

Global Copper Production

In 2020, the global output of copper fell to 20M tonnes, dropping by -2.3% compared with the previous year’s figure. In value terms, copper production decreased to $136.3B, estimated at export prices.

The country with the largest volume of copper production was Chile (5.7M tonnes), accounting for 28% of total output. Moreover, copper production in Chile exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest producer, Peru (2.2M tonnes), threefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by China (1.7M tonnes), with an 8.3% share.

Global Copper Exports

In 2020, approx. 1.7M tonnes of copper were exported worldwide, growing by 16% compared with 2019 figures. In value terms, supplies surged to $11.1B (IndexBox estimates).

Zambia represented the major exporter of copper globally, with the volume of exports amounting to 675K tonnes, which was nearly 40% of total supplies. Chile (283K tonnes) ranks second with a 17% share, followed by Bulgaria (7.1%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5%). Belgium (76K tonnes), Namibia (61K tonnes), Spain (56K tonnes), Slovakia (55K tonnes), South Africa (52K tonnes), Pakistan (38K tonnes), the Philippines (34K tonnes) and South Korea (31K tonnes) were a long way behind the leaders.

In value terms, Zambia ($4.2B) remains the largest copper supplier, comprising 38% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Chile ($1.7B), with a 16% share of total supplies. It was followed by Bulgaria, with a 9.4% share.

Source: IndexBox Platform

forced labor

DHS Requests Comments to Inform Implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a request for comments to assist the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (“FLETF”) with implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”). The UFLPA, signed by President Biden on December 23, 2021, creates a rebuttable presumption that goods manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“Xinjiang”) or produced by an entity on a number of lists to be produced, will be denied entry into the U.S. under section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1307). The UFLPA was passed in response to the alleged use of forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tibetans, and other persecuted groups in China. Readers can learn more about the UFLPA and the rebuttable presumption, which goes into effect on June 21, 2022, in our previous post following the UFLPA’s enactment.

While the UFLPA will almost certainly result in additional withhold release orders (“WROs”) on goods manufactured wholly or in part by entities in China, DHS’ request for comments does not provide the public with new details about investigations and enforcement practices or procedures that DHS has utilized in the Xinjiang-related WROs issued on certain silica-based products as well as certain cotton and tomato products. Instead, the request for comments poses eighteen (18) open-ended questions.

U.S. importers potentially affected by WROs are encouraged to submit comments to ensure a balanced and fully accurate record.  Some questions of particular importance include:

-What due diligence, effective supply chain tracing, and supply chain management measures can importers leverage to ensure that they do not import any goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part with forced labor from the People’s Republic of China, especially from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region?

-What type, nature, and extent of evidence can companies provide to reasonably demonstrate that goods originating in the People’s Republic of China were not mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region?

-To what extent is there a need for a common set of supply chain traceability and verification standards, through a widely endorsed protocol, and what current government or private sector infrastructure exists to support such a protocol?

-What measures can be taken to trace the origin of goods, offer greater supply chain transparency, and identify third-country supply chain routes for goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part with forced labor in the People’s Republic of China?

Comments are due on March 10, 2022 at 11:59 PM. Husch Blackwell will continue to monitor UFLPA developments including the anticipated reports, lists, and implementing regulations.


Tony Busch is an attorney in Husch Blackwell LLP’s Washington, D.C. office and is a member of the firm’s International Trade & Supply Chain practice team.

Robert Stang is a Washington, D.C.-based partner with the law firm Husch Blackwell LLP. He leads the firm’s Customs group.

baby food

Growing Demand from China and Russia Drives Netherlands’ Baby Food Exports

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Netherlands – Food Preparations For Infants – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Last year, baby food exports from the Netherlands grew by +5.7% y-o-y in physical terms, driven primarily by rising demand from China and Russia. In 2020, the Netherlands supplied abroad 237K tonnes of baby food worth $2.7B. China and Russia constitute the largest importers, accounting for 54% of the total export volume.

Baby Food Exports from the Netherlands

In 2020, the amount of food preparations for infants exported from the Netherlands rose remarkably to 237K tonnes, with an increase of +5.7% compared with the year before. In value terms, baby food exports rose by +7.8% y-o-y to $2.7B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

China (129K tonnes) was the leading destination for baby food exports from the Netherlands, accounting for 54% of total exports. Moreover, baby food exports to China exceeded the volume sent to the second major destination, Hong Kong SAR (15K tonnes), eightfold. Russia (11K tonnes) occupied the third position in this ranking, with a 4.5% share.

In value terms, China ($1.7B) remains the key foreign market for baby food exports from the Netherlands, comprising 64% of total exports. Hong Kong SAR ($277M) occupied the second position in the ranking, with a 10% share of total exports, followed by Russia, with a 2.7% share.

In 2020, the value of supplies to China and Russia increased by +19.2% y-o-y and +4.1% y-o-y, respectively. By contrast, exports to Hong Kong SAR dropped by -32.3% y-o-y.

The average baby food export price stood at $11,318 per tonne in 2020, surging by +2% against the previous year. Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Hong Kong SAR, while the average price for exports to Greece was amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable growth rate in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to Poland, while the prices for the other significant destinations experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox Platform


China’s Leather Imports Post Solid Gains This Year

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘China – Leather – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

From January to July 2021, China’s leather imports totalled $1.3B, an increase of 34% over the same period last year. Brazil and Italy are the leading suppliers, comprising more than half of China’s leather imports. Over the past year, Italy (+34% y-o-y) significantly increased shipments to China, while supplies from Brazil (-24% y-o-y) declined. The average import price was $4,028 per tonne in 2020, rising by 19% over the previous year.

Imports into China

From January to July 2021, Chinese leather imports totalled $1.3B, exceeding by +34% the value of the same period in 2020. Last year, leather imports increased to $2.6B (IndexBox estimates), growing by +5.5% y-o-y. In physical terms, leather imports in China fell slightly to 650K tonnes, declining by 11.4% on the previous year’s figure. Over the last decade, imports attained the peak figure at 858K tonnes in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2020, they failed to regain momentum.

Chinese leather imports are expected to continue rebounding robustly, driven by the increased consumer demand worldwide. A downside risk comes from pandemic-related supply chain disruptions. Last year, many orders for leather production were cancelled or postponed, which put pressure on the manufacturing factories.

This year, regular shipments are deteriorated by the lack of shipping containers and the limited capacity of Asian ports that partially cease operations when COVID cases are found there. The uncertainty associated with possible pandemic outbreaks due to the emergence of new strains also poses a threat to the leather market and the global economy overall.

Imports by Country

In 2020, Brazil (204K tonnes), Italy (131K tonnes) and Viet Nam (55K tonnes) were the leading suppliers of leather imports to China, with a combined 60% share of total imports. These countries were followed by the U.S., Thailand, Argentina, Taiwan (Chinese), South Korea and Uzbekistan, which together accounted for a further 22%.

From 2007 to 2020, the most significant increases were in shipments from Uzbekistan (+66.1% per year), while purchases for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Brazil ($338M), Italy ($250M) and Thailand ($135M) constituted the largest leather suppliers to China, together comprising 28% of total imports. South Korea, the U.S., Viet Nam, Argentina, Taiwan (Chinese) and Uzbekistan lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 18%.

In terms of the leading suppliers, Uzbekistan (+69.3% per year) recorded the highest growth rate of the value of imports over the period under review, while purchases for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

The average leather import price stood at $4,028 per tonne in 2020, growing by 19% against the previous year. Overall, the import price, however, showed a pronounced curtailment. Over the period under review, average import prices attained the maximum at $6,374 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2020, import prices remained at a lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was South Korea ($10,291 per tonne), while the price for Brazil ($1,657 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Uzbekistan, while the prices for the other significant suppliers experienced a decline.

Source: IndexBox Platform

abs copolymers

Robust China’s Demand Drives ABS Plastic Exports from South Korea

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Republic of Korea – Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) Copolymers In Primary Forms – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

South Korea remains the world’s largest supplier of primary ABS copolymers, accounting for 46% of global exports. Robust demand from China propels the growth of South Korea’s shipments. In the first seven months of 2021, the export value increased by +60% against the same period of 2020. Last year, ABS copolymer exports from Korea reached $2.1B. China, Hong Kong SAR and Turkey constitute the leading importers of Korean ABS plastics. In 2020, the average ABS copolymer export price country’s amounted to $1,521 per tonne, down by -7.9% against the previous year.

South Korea’s ABS Copolymer Exports by Country

South Korea is the world’s largest supplier of primary ABS copolymers, accounting for 46% of global exports. In the first seven months of 2021, South Korea exported 759K tonnes of primary ABS copolymers worth $1.76B, a 60%-increase in value terms against the same period of 2020.

In 2020, ABS copolymer exports from South Korea declined to 1.3M tonnes, approximately mirroring 2019 figures. In value terms, ABS copolymer exports dropped from $2.2B in 2019 to $2.1B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

China (499K tonnes) was the leading destination for ABS copolymer exports from South Korea, accounting for 37% of total exports. Moreover, ABS copolymer exports to China exceeded the volume sent to the second major destination, Hong Kong SAR (120K tonnes), fourfold. Turkey (80K tonnes) ranked third in terms of total exports with a 6% share. In value terms, China ($725M) remains the key foreign market for ABS copolymer exports from South Korea, comprising 35% of total exports. Hong Kong SAR ($178M) occupied the second position in the ranking, with an 8.7% share of total exports. It was followed by Turkey, with a 5.9% share.

In 2020, the average annual growth rate of exports value sent to China totalled +5.2%. Exports to the other significant destinations recorded the following average annual rates of export growth: Hong Kong SAR (-20.4% per year) and Turkey (+3.2% per year).

In 2020, the average ABS copolymer export price amounted to $1,521 per tonne, falling by -7.9% against the previous year. Average prices varied noticeably for the major overseas markets. In 2020, the countries with the highest prices were Mexico ($1,721 per tonne) and the U.S. ($1,663 per tonne), while the average price for exports to China ($1,452 per tonne) and Malaysia ($1,460 per tonne) were amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable growth rate in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to Hong Kong SAR, while the prices for the other significant destinations declined.

Source: IndexBox Platform