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This update – the 98th of its kind – contains a consolidated overview of the South African supply chain and the current state of international trade. This past week’s main headline for port operations relates to substantially increased throughput levels compared to last week despite some challenging weather conditions in Durban and Richards Bay. Also, the helicopter at the Durban port was re-commissioned during the latter stages of the week after component repairs were completed earlier in the week.

Some delays experienced were primarily attributed to equipment breakdowns, congestion, vessel ranging in Cape Town, and, unfortunately, a horrible truck accident in Durban. Lastly, for rail, TFR still hasn’t provided an estimated return time on the second line of the container corridor after the derailment. However, they suggested earlier this week that the second line of the Durban-Cato Ridge railway should be back in commission by 17 September.

Regarding the current economic outlook, the IMF has downwardly revised growth forecasts due to the prevailing pressures of war, COVID-19, inflation, and others. Moreover, the WTO warned of a downward trend in global merchandise trade, citing approximately the same issues as the IMF. Finally, globally – as has been our experience in South Africa – there has been a slower aggregate demand growth due to falling business and consumer confidence, negatively impacting the outlook for now.

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