China port shipments points to strong Christmas season

The export outlook for Asia is suddenly looking much improved, with analysts Friday buzzing about a single number that points to bullish Christmas-season shipments.

Data released Thursday on China’s port shipments in September beat market expectations, and even point to improving momentum for the export sector.

Cargo-container shipments jumped 11% for the month from a year earlier, picking up from gains on 5% year-on-year for July and August, according to data from the Ministry of Transport.

The growth in container shipments was “surprisingly positive,” according to Daiwa Capital Markets analysts, who said it indicates upbeat consumer trends heading into the all-important Christmas shopping season.

“According to our discussions with shipping companies, the strong September growth should imply good Christmas orders this year,” Daiwa analyst Kelvin Lau said in a note Friday.

Uwe Parpart, chief strategist and head of research with Reorient Group, told a local radio program Friday in Hong Kong that he also viewed the trade statistic as evidence of an improving recovery momentum in the Chinese economy.

He added that the International Monetary Fund’s announcement earlier this week that it had lowered its forecast for China’s 2012 growth should be read by investors as a contrary indicator.

Via – MarketWatch


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