Sun Kwang Newport Container Terminal in Incheon, South Korea. Video: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg 

Virus Slams Hong Kong Ports in Bloomberg News Trade Tracker


Hong Kong port figures plunged to a rare deep-red reading on Bloomberg News’s Trade Tracker as the territory grappled with Lunar New Year-related volatility, depressed demand amid still-sporadic protests, and the onset of the coronavirus.

The January cargo data from Hong Kong dropped more than two standard deviations below the long-term average. Since the dashboard began in November 2018, only the August and September readings for the U.S. new exports sub-gauge of sentiment have ever been worse, right at the height of U.S.-China tariff battles.

Singapore’s throughput eked a rare above-average reading in January, suggesting the island might be absorbing some of Hong Kong’s losses on the shipping front. But the trade-reliant city state is far from immune to the regional pressures: Officials lowered their forecast for Singapore’s 2020 economic growth midpoint to 0.5% on Feb. 17, seeing negative impact from the virus.

Most of the rest of the gauges tracked by Bloomberg to assess the health of global trade remain below their average midpoint.

We’ve selected measures across shipping, sentiment and export volumes to watch for signs of stress amid the tensions. For the clearest indication, we measured how far each gauge is from historic norms.

How the indicators compare 👆

Latest data available for shipping, sentiment and export volume indicators, z-scores*