Rates keep falling - US west coast ports suffer lower volumes: Xeneta

OCEAN freight rates are continuing to fall, with global prices dropping 0

03 September 2019 - 19:00

OCEAN freight rates are continuing to fall, with global prices dropping 0.3 per cent through August, according to the latest XSI Public Indices report from Oslo-based Xeneta.

With the exception of an unexpected increase in May, rates have been on the decline since summer 2018.

'The index has now fallen 2.7 per cent since that upwards surge in May and the carriers, despite their best efforts, are struggling to alter that course,' said Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund.

Mr Berglund points to the Far East-North Europe trade where higher rates at the start of August have turned into reductions from September 1, despite sailing cancellations.

In total 150,000 TEU was withdrawn from the market during the peak season of July/early August. As such, the rise of 5.7 per cent in the European import benchmark in July was followed in August by a 1.4 per cent slump. Exports posted a small increase of 0.6 per cent.

The company said the US-China trade war is also 'continuing to hit the industry, with ports on the US west coast reporting a substantial decline in both import and export volumes in July'. This lack of demand is impacting on carrier rates. August saw a month-on-month decline of 2.6 per cent for the exports index, while imports edged into the positive with a 0.1 per cent rise.

'Far East imports on the XSI failed to break free from an established pattern that has seen the benchmark fall by 17.1 per cent year on year, although the 0.1 per cent decline of August was at least marginal. Exports fared better for the period, rallying by one per cent after a 4.8 per cent decline the previous month,' it said.

Xeneta compiles its monthly XSI from crowd-sourced shipping data, covering 160,000 port-to-port pairings, with 110 million data points. As such it provides a real-time picture of ocean freight rate developments.


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