With the Spring Festival holiday approaching, the volume of Asian exports decreased, and the Shanghai Export Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) fell for two consecutive weeks.
According to the latest data released by the Shanghai Stock Exchange on January 21, the SCFI index ended last week rising for nine consecutive weeks and set a new record for six consecutive weeks. For the first time, the freight rates of major routes such as the US-West Route, the European Route, and the Southeast Asia Route have been jointly revised down for the first time.
Among them, the Far East to the eastern line of the United States has the largest decline, with the freight rate falling 3.34% to $11,337/FEU for the week; the western line of the United States dropped slightly 0.23% to $7,976/FEU. In contrast, the performance of the European route was relatively stable. The freight rate of the Far East to Mediterranean route increased by 0.03% to US$7,522/TEU, and the freight rate of the Far East to Europe route decreased by 0.18% to US$7,783/TEU.
The near-ocean line remained mixed. The freight rate of the Far East to Japan Kansai line increased by 23 US dollars compared with the previous week, the Far East to Japan Kanto line fell by 7 US dollars compared with the previous week, and the Far East to Southeast Asia route to Singapore fell by 13 US dollars compared with the previous week. The line to Korea was down $7 from the previous week.
Industry analysts said that it is impossible for the freight rate to remain high all the time. As the Chinese Spring Festival holiday approaches, the demand decreases and the freight rate falls to reflect the market demand. Such a pullback trend is normal. Whether the market reverses downward or not, the rate of decline in future freight rates is an important indicator to observe, as long as it is not a collapse trend, don’t worry too much.
According to a person in the freight forwarding industry, the transaction price of both the trans-Pacific route and the European route remains at a high level at present. China will start production in the next two weeks of the year, and it is expected that the freight rate will continue to adjust. However, in the next February and March, the US-West docker contract will start the negotiation. According to past practice, if the negotiation fails, it may lead to sabotage or even strike. The cargo owner pulls the goods in advance, which will push up the demand for transport capacity in the first quarter and support the high freight rate. High freight rates are expected to remain at least until the second or third quarter.