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Resin Market Waiting for China Terminal to Fully Reopen
August 17, 2021

More than 50 container ships have backed up at China's Ningbo-Zhoushan port after it closed the Meishan terminal on August 11 following a single positive Covid-19 test that was discovered. The Ningbo-Zhoushan port is the third busiest in the world, and shut down inbound and outbound container services until further notice.

Global logistics shipping company Maersk said last week that a few vessels which call the Meishan terminal started to move to other terminals in Ningbo port, which are operating normally. Shipping company Yang Ming added this week that a delay in planned sailings and port congestion was expected.

Ningbo Zhoushan Port Co said on Monday its handling volume has resumed to about 90% of its average daily level in July, following efforts to mitigate the impact of the shutdown of a terminal.

China has a "zero tolerance" Covid policy, which impacted shipping hubs in Southern China back in June following an outbreak, and ultimately slowed down volumes to the US. The Port of Los Angeles, which saw lower volumes in June following that outbreak in Southern China, has said it is bracing for another potential decline because of the latest shutdown at the Ningbo-Zhoushan port.

The partial shutdown of the Zhoushan port also comes as container shipping rates from China to the US have hit new highs above $20,000 per 40-foot box.

High shipping costs and logistical delays have already impacted resin imports in July, which saw a severe slowdown in US orders for overseas material due to fewer trader incentives.

By Brian Balboa for The Plastics Exchange.

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