The Port of Qingdao is one of the most important in China, and a large component of Qingdao’s economic activity. Ask 5 of your local friends what they do for a living, and it’s a good bet that at least 2 or 3 will answer shipping, logistics, shipbuilding and related industries. Just how vital of a role this port serves was reinforced by a recent article citing the Port of Qingdao as a “bellwether not only for the health of Chinese exports, but also for the state of Chinese industrial demand”. It is hoped that the increase in port volume since last year signals a healthy trend in the Chinese economy, which in turn might both indicate and propel further economic recovery overseas. Now if only more people could work the word bellwether into their everyday vernacular.

From uk.reuters.com

BEIJING, March 3, 2010 (Reuters) – Qingdao Port, China’s second-largest foreign trade port, said it expects a steady rebound in volume in the first half of the year, although throughput has yet to return to pre-financial crisis levels.

The port’s cargo throughout was up 9 percent in January and February from a year earlier, while container throughout was up 6 percent, Chairman Chang Dechuan said in an interview on Wednesday ahead of the National People’s Congress annual meeting in Beijing, which starts on Friday.

Chang added that he expected overall port volume to be strong in the first half, although levels would remain below those reached before the global recession.

He said iron ore stocks at the port stood at 10 million tonnes, down from their peak, on strong demand from steel mills.

Qingdao Port is a bellwether not only for the health of Chinese exports, but also for the state of Chinese industrial demand. It is the nation’s largest iron ore and crude oil port.

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Reuters Online

Photo Credit @ Eimskip Coldstore

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