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ASEAN's share of US-bound boxes up 20pc while China's share falls

THE Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) US-bound shipping volume from the ASEAN region increased 20 per cent in 2020 while China's share fell, reports Tokyo's Nikkei Asia

13 April 2021 - 19:00
THE Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) US-bound shipping volume from the ASEAN region increased 20 per cent in 2020 while China's share fell, reports Tokyo's Nikkei Asia.

China's 2020 share was down 0.9 per cent point year on year to 58.9 per cent, remaining below the 60 per cent mark for the second year in a row. The figure further dropped to 58.2 per cent in January.



As the US-China trade war simmered, the coronavirus hit the global economy. The latest trends in US-bound marine transport, which also showed increased Vietnamese furniture exports, indicating a stay-at-home US lifestyle.



These trends have been revealed by the Japan Maritime Centre, which tallied US-bound transportation from 18 Asian countries and regions, including Japan, South Korea, China and the ASEAN region. The figures show a notable increase in shipping from ASEAN, including Singapore and seven other countries.



The volume reached 4.01 million units, based on the capacity of a standard TEU. This figure marked a 16.1 per cent increase from a year ago and exceeded the four million mark for the first time, with ASEAN's share increasing 2.3 percentage points to 21.9 per cent.



As labour costs increased in China, manufacturers have set up production facilities outside the country in a strategy called 'China plus one.' The trend continued amid the Covid crisis. In particular, Vietnam, which contained infections relatively early, increased its presence.



The US-bound volume originating in Vietnam increased 24.8 per cent to 1.99 million units, representing a share of 10.8 per cent - up 1.8 percentage points from a year earlier. The share of Thailand-originating volume increased 0.3 percentage point to 4.1 per cent. In the latest data as of January 2021, the share of the combined ASEAN region reached 23.3 per cent.



The volume originating in China excluding Hong Kong increased 2.4 per cent from a year ago to 10.81 million units. The figure, which represents the first year-on-year increase in two years, is still 6.4 per cent less than the 2018 peak before US-China trade frictions started to swell.


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