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Europe’s Containerized Imports Declined 5.2% in January

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- European imports of containerized goods fell 5.2 percent in January, as government austerity programs led to the largest monthly contraction in the trade since 2009, Container Trade Statistics Ltd. said.

Imports were about 1.8 million 20-foot boxes, compared with 1.9 million a year earlier, according to the Woking, England-based provider of container shipping data. European exports climbed almost 12 percent to 1.3 million boxes last month, CTS said.

Monthly imports to the region haven’t fallen by so much since 2009, Rod Riseborough, the company’s chief executive officer, said today by phone.

“The austerity programs being implemented by governments are more prevalent in Northern Europe and West Mediterranean, the regions where volumes are down the most,” he said.

Imports to countries in these regions, including the U.K., France, Spain, Italy and ports in the Baltic and Adriatic regions fell, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Wiese Bockmann in London at mwiesebockma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net

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