Data recently released on DataLiner, Datamar’s market intelligence tool, regarding the month of September 2022 point to stability in Brazilian foreign trade via containers.
Despite updated data indicating a 14.83% increase in Brazilian containerized imports from September 2021 – a result that is also higher than the figures seen over the same month of the previous three years – year-to-date data from January to September 2022 are 6.25% lower than the same period in 2021.
It is worth noting that 2021 was atypical for imports, as there was a recovery in economic activity, which was affected in the previous year by the pandemic caused by Covid-19.
See the chart below for a track record of Brazilian imports via containers. The graph was based on DataLiner data:
Brazilian container imports | Jan 2019 – Sep 2022 | TEUs
In terms of exports via containers, in September, throughout remained stable with a slight growth of 0.70% compared to the same month of 2021. The export data are also in line with the volume exported in the same month of 2020.
The total volume seen over the first nine months of the year, in turn, indicates a 1.32% drop from January – September 2021, also above the same period since 2019.
Brazilian container exports | Jan 2019 – Sep 2022 | TEUs
Falling maritime freight
International maritime freight, one of the economic activity thermometers, has fallen. The move, which also applies to South America’s East Coast, reflects the global recession caused by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Ships are underutilized as consumption and demand for imports fall. In addition, the main problems that hampered international maritime logistics, such as the lockdown of Chinese ports due to the country’s policy of low tolerance for Covid and the congestion of American ports, were equated. All of these factors contributed to a significant decrease in freight rates.
Shipowners struggle to sustain rates as demand recedes, but excess capacity weighs on rates. Despite more blank voyages, the market remains feeble.
According to S&P Global’s Platts Americas Container Freight bulletin, freight rates from North Asia to East Coast South America have remained steady at $5,300/FEU over the past week.
This week, according to the same Platts bulletin, freight to South America remained fixed, with the only change occurring in PCR32 – East Coast of South America to North Asia – which fell by US$ 100, or 5%, to US$1,900/FEU. Sources in Brazil and Chile say they expect import and export rates to remain stable through the end of the year.
The global economic crisis is expected to last until the end of 2022. The prospects are not good, according to the “World Economic Outlook” for October 2022, a quarterly document prepared by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with forecasts for the future of the global economy.
According to the IMF’s chief economist, Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, a third of the world’s economies will enter recession between now and next year. Gourichas believes that the 2022 economic shocks will reopen “wounds” that were beginning to heal after the pandemic. He predicted that the world’s three largest economies – the United States, China, and the eurozone – would experience low growth and risk stagnation.
For the IMF, inflation is expected to peak at 9.5% this year and then slow to 4.1% by 2024.