Asia-Europe rates return to decline

7/9/2012

Container freight spot rates on the world’s main trade routes declined last week according to the latest Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI), published Friday.

The overall index droped $38.58 to $1,421.94 pinned down by $10-$80 drops on the European, Mediterraneanm, US West Coast and US East Coast routes.

The drop was predicted comfortably by a Lloyd’s Loading List.com LinkedIn poll where 85% of respondents called the downward move.

Last week’s decline was a return to form following a week in which SCFI spot rates to Europe spiked by up to 22% on the back of the 1 July General Rate Increases (GRIs). Prior to that, the index had fallen for several weeks.

Commenting on last week’s Resultses, GFI ACM Freight Rate Derivatives Broker Cherry Wang said: "Although it now appears that peak season is upon us to some degree, volumes have still failed to set the market alight."

"We’ve heard from a number of our clients that some carriers are reporting high levels of utilisation, whilst others have been willing to price in to high volume cargo. It will be interesting to see how much the index rates come off as the month progresses, and to see who else joins Hapag-Lloyd in announcing further increases."

Clarkson Securities Broker Ben Gibson said he had expected the drop but thought that it would have been steeper.

"At least the spot rates are heading back in line with weaker sentiment," he added.

"The key to the where the market goes from here, however, lies with whether or not the main market players feel their market share is threatened. Although there is little sign of this happening yet, further pressure on volumes will only make things more difficult."