UPDATE 1-Maersk cuts Asia to Europe capacity as growth stalls
* Maersk Line to cut Asia to Europe capacity further
* Says sees no growth on Asia to Europe trade in 2012
* Says has seen fall in trade volume as economies weaken
* Shares fall 0.8 percent
(Adds details, quotes, share price)
COPENHAGEN, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Danish oil and shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Friday its container shipping unit would cut further capacity on the core Asia to Europe trade following low demand which shows no sign of improving.
The group, which earlier this week said it would cut investments in its containing shipping unit Maersk Line, said it has seen a fall in trade volume and would consider further capacity cuts as the outlook for the economies of Europe and Asia remains weak.
"We expect a 3 percent slump on the Asia-Europe container trades for 2012 and are taking steps to adjust to this," said Maersk Line's chief trade and marketing officer Vincent Clerc.
"We do not expect volume growth on the Asia-Europe trades this year so there is currently no need for the number of ships sailing."
Maersk group said on Tuesday it would step up investment in its oil, ports and drilling businesses to cut exposure to container shipping at the first capital markets day in the group's 108-year history.
Maersk Line said in the statement on Friday it would permanently suspend its Asia to Europe AE5 service which operates 8 vessels, and temporarily suspend its Asia to Europe AE9 service which operates 11 vessels, until early December 2012.
The reduction would bring Maersk Line's total Asia to Europe capacity reduction this year to 21 percent, it said, having cut capacity by 9 percent earlier in the year.
Shares in A.P. Moller-Maersk traded down 0.8 percent at 0841 GMT against a 0.4 percent decline in the Copenhagen stock exchange's benchmark index .
(Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by Mike Nesbit)
Keywords: MAERSK ASIA/