RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index: World trade remains subdued

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 1.6 points to 119.2 points in March. Container throughput rebounded particularly in China, but the data are distorted by the Chinese New Year holidays.

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) decreased from 117.6 points (revised) to 119.2 points in March.
  • The North Range Index, an indicator of economic development in the northern euro area and Germany, indicates an above-average increase in March from 106.0 points (no change since the flash forecast) to 110.1 points compared with the previous month.
  • Container throughput in Chinese ports rebounded from 106.0 to 131.7. However, the data is still distorted by the Chinese New Year (see below “Current data for the index China” under “Further Information”).
  • The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for March 2022 will be published on May 30, 2022.

Commenting on the development of the Container Throughput Index, RWI’s head of economic research, Torsten Schmidt says, “The container throughput has only slightly recovered from the previous month’s decrease. The weak development that we observe since the end of last year hence continues.”

 

About the RWI/ISL- Container Throughput Index:

The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index consists of container throughput data from 90 international ports gathered continuously by the ISL Monthly Container Port Monitor as part of its market observation. These ports account for approximately 64 percent of global container traffic. The current flash estimate for the Container Throughput Index is based on data from about 78 percent of the total index displayed here. As international trade is handled primarily by sea, reliable conclusions can be drawn here from container port throughput data. Furthermore, the index is a reliable early indicator of international trade of manufactured goods as well as global economic activity as most ports already report their activities within two weeks after the end of each month. 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.