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Hong Kong exports plunged even before coronavirus showed its full impact

HONG KONG total outbound shipments in January plunged 23 per cent from a year earlier, far worse than the 3

Hong Kong exports plunged even before coronavirus showed its full impact

HONG KONG total outbound shipments in January plunged 23 per cent from a year earlier, far worse than the 3

26 February 2020 - 19:00

HONG KONG total outbound shipments in January plunged 23 per cent from a year earlier, far worse than the 3.7 per cent drop that economists expected, reports Bloomberg.

Exports from the facility, one of the 10 largest ports in the world, saw big drops to key markets: down 21 per cent to the rest of Asia, 33 per cent to the US and 37 per cent to the UK.



While the data were probably affected by Chinese New Year, they also show that whatever dividend was likely from the US and China trade deal has already evaporated. The focus now is on how much worse the pain could get as the city braces for fallout from the coronavirus.



The shipping industry will remain volatile for most of the year, said Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, adding that volume is down 25 per cent this month, a drag that could result in a 15 per cent first quarter decline.



The US imported half the amount of goods from China in the week ending February 20 as it did in the same period last year, according to IHS Markit data compiled by Bloomberg.



Economists are beginning to war game what an untethered outbreak could mean for global growth. Oxford Economics reckon an international health crisis could be enough to wipe more than US$1 trillion from global gross domestic product.



China's mammoth steel sector - which accounts for more than half of global production - is in turmoil. Stockpiles of rebar, a key construction material used to reinforce concrete, have swelled to a record. That's hurting the price of iron ore, Australia's biggest export.


WORLD SHIPPING

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