COPENHAGEN, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Trade between the BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has grown strongly this year, figures from the world’s largest container shipper showed on Thursday.
Maersk Line, which handles one out of seven containers shipped globally, said its shipments from China to India had increased 26 percent by value in the first half of the year compared to last year.
It also said that its shipments from China to Brazil and from China to South Africa each had grown by almost 9 percent.
“We can see from our own statistics, customers in the four countries are most attracted to Chinese textile & apparel, consumer electronics (appliances and kitchenware) and furniture products,” Mike Fang, Managing Director for Maersk Line’s Greater China Cluster, said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Growth in China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly accelerated in August, survey data showed, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy is still expanding at a healthy clip.
Chinese policymakers are keeping the stimulus taps flowing at a time when stronger growth has prompting some in the West to start winding back cheap money.
Maersk also said that the value of its shipments from South Africa to China had increased by 44 percent in the period.
Although Chinese imports still mainly focused on raw materials and resources, Maersk Line saw an increase in the imports of, for example, meat from Brazil and fruits and nuts from South Africa, Fang said.
“E-commerce cooperation is developing very fast among the five countries, with many of their products gaining traction on the Chinese market,” Fang said.
“There is much potential to enable trade among BRICS nations and we will definitely look into it,” he said.
The figures, which are more detailed than in Maersk’s earlier statements, were devised for a BRICS nations summit in Xiamen, China, this week. (Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Toby Chopra)