Singapore port terminals handled 10.4 percent more containers in March than in February, and traffic was also 10 percent higher than a year earlier, government data showed.

The numbers from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore show trade at the world’s busiest container port is recovering, and follow Wednesday’s data that showed the city-state’s economy grew at the fastest pace on record in the first quarter.

Most containers passing through Singapore’s port are transshipments between East and West, and so are a barometer of world trade.

The figures come ahead of publication of Singapore’s non-oil exports in March. Singapore’s biggest export markets are the European Union and the United States.

Singapore relies on exports for about 60 percent of its economy. The world trade downturn battered its economy and shipping firms such as Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines , but its monetary authority said Singapore’s economy has fully recovered.

PSA International, which runs ports around the world and is owned by state wealth fund Temasek, separately said container volumes at its Singapore port rose 14.2 percent in the first three months of this year from the first quarter of 2009. (Reuters)