RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index: New strains on world trade loom in Chinese ports

Trend

The current flash forecast for the Container Throughput Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) indicates a seasonally adjusted increase of 0.8 points to 122.8 points in December. The increase is mostly triggered by a significant expansion in throughput at ports outside China. However, container throughput in Chinese ports fell sharply.

The essence in a nutshell:

  • The seasonally adjusted Container Throughput Index of RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) increased from 122.0 points (revised) to 122.8 points in December.
  • The North Range Index, an indicator of economic development in the northern euro area and Germany, increased significantly in December from 114.3 points (revised) to 115.8 points compared with the previous month.
  • Container throughput in Chinese ports , on the other hand declined significantly. The index decreased from 128.6 to 126.4 (see below “Data on the special evaluation excluding Chinese ports” under “Downloads”).
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for January 2022 will be published on February 28, 2022.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research, Torsten Schmidt says, "Container throughput increased strongly in many ports around the world. This is likely to have contributed to a slight ease of supply bottlenecks in some areas. However, the renewed sharp decline in container throughput at Chinese ports could be an indication that supply problems will worsen again in the coming months."
 

About the RWI/ISL- Container Throughput Index:
The index incorporates container throughput data collected on an ongoing basis by the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor at 94 international ports, which account for about 64 percent of global container throughput. The current quick estimate for the Container Throughput Index is based on data from about 64 percent of the throughput reflected in the index. Since international trade is mainly handled by ocean-going vessels, container throughputs allow reliable conclusions to be drawn about world trade. Because many ports report on their activities as early as two weeks after the end of a month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator of the development of international trade in processed goods and thus also of global economic activity. The container throughput index is part of the statistics on foreign trade in the „Dashboard Deutschland“ of the Federal Statistical Office.

Data series for individual ports are available in the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor.