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9 January 2010

Singapore-based port operator reports decline in volumes

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Singapore-based port operator PSA International too had to brave the choppy seas, as world demand for goods fell, the island state news website Channel News reported.

PSA saw its global container handling volumes decline for the first time since it ventured beyond Singapore's shores in 1996. Last year, it handled 56.9 million standard containers or twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) globally, down 9.9 percent from 2008.

Volumes at its Singapore terminals fell 13 percent on-year to 25.14 million TEUs, while its terminals outside of the country posted a seven percent drop to 31.78 million TEUs.

The drop was in line with the World Trade Organisation's forecast for world trade to fall 10 percent on-year in 2009. However, analysts said things are likely to pick up.

Joachim Skorge, managing director, Investment Banking, DnB Nor said: "The global economy is improving and that should improve volumes for PSA going forward. We saw a stabilization of the container market towards the end of 2009. We are expecting further improvement throughout 2010."

PSA operates a network of 28 ports in 16 economies around the world, including Belgium, Hong Kong, China and Panama.

But the port operator is cautious for 2010. The CEO Eddie Teh said in a statement that the company has taken urgent measures to reset its capacity needs during the downturn, and expects this year to remain a challenging one.


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