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Port cargo throughput growth slows in October

Nov. 24 -- Port traffic growth slightly decreased in China last month in the wake of weakening domestic demands, new commerce ministry data shows.

Total port cargo throughput above designated scale stood at 780 million tonnes in October, up 12.6 percent year on year, according to the Statistical Bulletin on Communication from the Ministry of Transport (MOT).

But the growth figure was 0.7 percentage points lower than the September level, the bulletin showed.

In the first 10 months of this year, the country's port throughput registered a 13.6 percent year-on-year rise to 7.55 billion tonnes, it said.

Chen Yi, a cargo expert, said the October growth was mostly supported by strong external trading, while a slump in domestic cargo throughput growth has been the major reason for October's slowdown.

Cargo throughput related to foreign trade activities surged 22.7 percent to 240 million tonnes last month from a year ago in Chinese ports.

Meanwhile, domestic cargo throughput only rose 8.7 percent in October from the corresponding period last year. The figure was 6.7 percentage points lower than that of September, according to the MOT.

"The deceleration in domestic port activities was triggered by weakening demand and increasing inventories, especially a drop in coal demand," Chen said.

Chen said he expected a further drop in port cargo throughput growth in the fourth quarter, due to the harsh global conditions, a slowdown in domestic growth and high inventories of international commodities.

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