CIMC warns that high oil prices may dissuade carriers to buy containers
Sept.3--CHINA International Marine Containers (CIMC) achieved steady growth in its key container manufacturing business during the first half of the year driven by growth in world trade and the accompanying rise in container shipping volumes.

"Customers maintained strong procurement demand for new containers given higher market demand. Container prices remained stable as a result of the relatively balanced supply-demand in the container manufacturing industry," the company was cited as saying in a report by Seatrade Maritime News, Colchester, UK.

The first half saw overall sales volume and revenue from containers maintain favourable demand growth, while the group significantly increased market share, particularly in the reefer container business.

First-half sales volume of ordinary dry containers rose 51 per cent year on year to 806,900 TEU, and sales volume of reefer containers doubled to 76,600 TEU, up from 35,100 TEU previously.

In spite of revenue increasing by 60 per cent to CNY16.1 billion (US$2.4 billion) segment net profit dived 69 per cent to CNY213.6 million mainly due to the high cost of water-based paint used in coating lines and rising steel prices.

Looking ahead, the world's top container manufacturer noted that high oil prices are expected to lead to lower operating results for container lines this year and "this will to some extent affect customers' willingness to purchase containers."

It concluded that "however, it is expected that demand for containers will remain relatively high throughout the year."
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