Asia-Europe spot prices fall ‘unexpectedly’ last week


Asia-Europe spot prices fell “unexpectedly” last week by around 9% despite peak season demand and transpacific prices also fell for the third successive week, although rates overall remain 15% higher than a year ago, according to the World Container Index assessed by Drewry.

Despite a peak season cargo surge on the Asia-Europe trade, average spot rates “dropped unexpectedly on the Shanghai-Rotterdam route”, which fell by $160 to $1,705 for a 40ft box last week, although rates remain 15% higher than a year ago. Average prices from Shanghai to Genoa fell by around 10% to $1,608 per feu.

However, “more rate hikes and prudent supply during the peak season should lift rates from August”, on the Asia-Europe trade, Drewry predicted.

Meanwhile, a “slow start to the peak season is weighing down transpacific eastbound rates”, Drewry noted. Average spot rates from Shanghai to New York lost $183 (8%) to reach $2,202 for a 40ft box and the rates from Shanghai to Los Angeles dropped by $71 (5%) to $1,242. Compared with last year, Shanghai to New York prices are up 15%, while Shanghai to Los Angeles are down 5%, year on year.

Overall, average prices on the World Container Index assessed by Drewry, a composite of container freight rates on 8 major routes to and from the US, Europe and Asia, were down by 6.3% last week to $1421 per 40ft container but is up by 15% from the same period of 2016.

For the year-to-date, the average composite index of the WCI, assessed by Drewry is US $1,546 per 40ft container, which is $120 lower than the five-year average of $1,666 per 40ft container but is 15% higher than its level a year ago.