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China's road, waterway freight volumes shrink amid coronavirus impact

Updated: Mar 23,2020 09:12 AM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China's road and waterway freight volumes shrank in the first two months of the year, as the novel coronavirus outbreak disrupted economic activities, official data showed.

Road freight volume totaled 2.9 billion metric tons for the January-February period, 75.2 percent of the level during the same period last year, according to data from the Ministry of Transport.

In February alone, the reading was 826.38 million tons, only half of the amount registered in the same month of 2019.

The ministry said the count did not include data from Central China's Hubei province, which was hit hard by the epidemic.

The country's waterway freight volume fell 14.8 percent year-on-year to 927.85 million tons in the first two months. Total cargo throughput of the country's ports dropped 6 percent to 1.87 billion tons, according to the ministry.

The data came after economic indicators showed across-the-board contraction in the first two months due to the epidemic outbreak. The Chinese government has unveiled a slew of measures, including targeted reserve requirement ratio cuts, offering special reloans as well as tax and fee cuts to cushion the impact on the economy.

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