High freight costs, slow logistical deliveries and falling demand are the major problems revealed in a China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) survey of 500 Chinese companies. At a recent CCPIT’s briefing, China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) secretary-general Sun Xiao said 56 per cent of respondents reported raw material prices and logistics costs were high; while 62.5 per cent said order volumes had been unstable, with small quantities exceeding larger quantities.

On a more positive note, Mr. Sun said the recent correction in container freight rates and cargo volumes now meant containers were no longer in short supply.

On Shanghai Port’s throughput reaching a monthly high of 4.3 million TEUs in July, and whether Chinese enterprises were still facing logistical difficulties, Mr. Sun said: “Businesses have reported freight rates on some popular routes have dropped.”

Some companies want to resume domestic exhibitions and overseas trade shows as a method of attracting more orders, and Mr. Sun added: “With the national economic stabilization package, imports and exports have rebounded and confidence is improving.” Moreover, the CCOIC was, he said: “Working on helping enterprises get the necessary permits to hold trade shows overseas later this year. We will seize the opportunities that come with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and help enterprises to understand it and how to take advantage of its benefits.”

RCEP is a free-trade agreement between, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10 Asean countries. He said the CCOIC was doing all it could to stabilize foreign trade, despite inflationary pressures that had affected consumer demand, adding: “Although the freight rates on ocean routes have fallen, they are still high compared with pre-Covid-19 levels.