Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.
On the basis of trade data available in mid-April, MDS Transmodal estimates that global trade (excluding intra-regional flows) has grown by some 8% in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year and could expand by some 5% by the end of the year, exceeding an overall volume of some 105m teu.
The highest annual growth rates for the first three months of 2015 are estimated to be on the routes departing East Asia. Exports from East Asia (excluding cargo remaining in the region) are estimated to have grown by more than 14% during the first quarter of 2015 compared to last year; cargo into sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be up by more than 30%.
MDST has monitored European trade lanes and, for the first three months of 2015, has estimated year-on-year growth rates of 6.8% and 6.6% for the routes leaving Europe and the Mediterranean and arriving in the region respectively.
Based upon the trade statistics available at the time of this analysis, MDST forecasts that while the overall exports for 2015 from northern Europe and the Mediterranean could still be growing by some 6%, imports into the region might be growing at a lower rate of some 4.6%, mainly due to a slowdown expected in volumes imported from Latin America.
For the transatlantic trade lane (both directions together), MDST estimates demand has grown by some 5.7% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter previous year and that supply has seen a contraction of around 7% during the same period, resulting in an improvement in the level of utilisation.
The size of ships expected to experience the highest drop is 3,000 teu-5,000 teu, down by some 22% between the first quarter of 2014 and first quarter of 2015; this class of vessels is estimated to account for 70% of the overall fleet on the transatlantic routes, down from 82% estimated during the first three months of 2014.
Assessing costs and revenues, MDST estimates a deterioration in the overall profit generated in the transatlantic trade lane during the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter last year, mainly driven by a drop in unit revenue (down by 20.5%). The fall in unit revenue has cancelled out the reduction estimated in unit cost (down by 9.2%).
On the demand side, MDST estimates that the main commodity groups moved on the transatlantic trade lane in 2015 are general industrial machinery and vegetables and fruit in the westbound and eastbound directions respectively. Compared to 2014 volumes, MDST estimates that while general industrial machinery is estimated to be declining (down by 1%), vegetables and fruit is growing at an annual rate of some 4%.