Yangtze Ports Show Signs of Growth

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Feb. 23 – Cargo passing through the Yangtze River ports increased in January, the first time after six months of decline.

Industry sources told Xinhua that businesses on the river will not see a full recovery until the year’s second half. In January, major ports in the area reported that cargo throughput of 80 million tons, a 5.7 percent year-on-year growth.

The figure indicates that China’s stimulus plan to boost the economy via infrastructure projects might be creating a positive impact.

The Yangtze River includes the port of Chongqing, Shanghai Yangshan port, plus the ports from the provinces of Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, and Jiangsu.

The spike in cargo throughput comes from increased government investment into the building of railways, roads, bridges and metros since  iron ore and coal used for these projects are transported through the the ports.

“There will be a few more difficult months before the bad time is over, but we are confident that business will improve in the second half of 2009 and annual cargo throughput growth will be around 9 percent,” Huang Qiang, party secretary of Yangtze River Administration, told Xinhua.

The ports grew steadily at an average rate of 14 percent during the first eight months of last year. However by the time the financial crisis was truly hit, September growth halted and in the last three months of the year, cargo transactions dropped by 17, 21 and 30 percent respectively.

Container throughput for January increased by 550,000 TEUs, up by 19.6 percent.

According to the Ministry of Transport, for all ports in China, cargo throughput reached 449.96 million tons in January, up by 5.7 percent year-on-year, and container throughput amounted to 8.99 million TEUs, up by 13.3 percent.