Spot container rates out of Shanghai weakened marginally last week, continuing a pattern in which rates will show gains around the dates of a general rate increase only to erode in subsequent weeks. Last week’s erosion in the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index or SCFI is “in anticipation of low demand expected during the … upcoming Chinese New Year festivities,” ICAP said.
Rates to the West Coast dipped $22 or 0.9 percent per 40-foot container to $2,475, which followed a $23 drop the previous week after two weeks of gains that saw West Coast rates gain nearly $300 or half the increase trans-Pacific carriers sought in a mid-January GRI. Rates to the East Coast lost $27 or 0.7 percent to $3,636 per FEU. This followed a $13 dip the previous week following two weeks of gains totaling $312 associated with the Jan. 15 GRI.
SCFI rates to Northern Europe continued sliding last week, losing $10 per 20-foot container or 0.8 percent to $1,316 per TEU, in the third consecutive decline following a $200 per TEU gain over two weeks in early January. Rates to Meditarranean ports lost $16 or 1.2 percent to $1,285 per TEU, also the third week of decline following a $252 per TEU gain over two weeks in early January.
“The slow degradation of rates on the head-haul routes has continued this week — whilst many had expectations that CNY would see rates rise on the back of stronger demand, it seems the actual effect thus far has been one to limit a more steep fall in prices,” Clarksons said.
ICAP, citing Alphaliner data, said February will see weekly capacity reductions of 20 and 47 percent beginning in two weeks.