November 21 - In its latest monthly shipping index, Skelton Sherborne reports that machinery import volumes into Australia in October increased by 10 percent to 4,015 units.

The Australian Customs FOB value for machinery and equipment imports into Australia rose from AUD463 million (USD454.9 million) in September to AUD489 million (USD480.4 million) in October, an increase of 10 percent.

The Brisbane, Australia-based international mining and construction equipment freight forwarder, adds that its Australian customers are finding the supply of high-quality used equipment in the United States is shrinking as the Australian dollar is weakening against the United States dollar. At the same time, shipping lines like Wallenius Wilhelmsen, are increasing freight rates by about 10 percent, blaming rising fuel costs.

These factors have led the report's authors to forecast a slowdown in volumes ex North America.

The Skelton Sherborne Shipping Index is published every month and is available on the forwarder's website. It offers an indication of the state of the mining and construction industries by way of import activity into Australia. The index is created from data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the forwarder's own data.