สภาผู้ส่งสินค้าทางเรือแห่งประเทศไทย (สภาผู้ส่งออก)
Thai National Shippers’ Council
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JOC 21/2/14 - SCFI Asia-Europe Rates Continue Slide

Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, North Europe, week ending Feb. 21, 2014.

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Spot container freight rates from Shanghai to northern European and Mediterranean ports fell about $150 per TEU in the week of Feb. 21, continuing a slide that began in the second week of January and marking the lowest level since early December 2013.

 

“Another week for the SCFI and another round of impressive falls across the major trade lanes reported by the index,” said Michael Rainsford, a commodity broker for Morgan Stanley, who said his views are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the firm.

Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, Mediterranean, week ending Feb. 21, 2014.

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Rates from Shanghai to North Europe dropped by double digits for the second consecutive week, falling 10.6 percent or $146 per TEU to $1,233. The rate on this trade is down 30.1 percent or $532 since Jan. 1, but is still slightly less than double the level seen in mid-October, when the index rate was $661 per TEU.

The current rate is up 2.8 percent year-over-year.

 

The rate from Shanghai to the Mediterranean is $1,264 per TEU, declining 10.6 percent or $150 per TEU this week. The rate has fallen 29.4 percent or $527 since Jan. 1, but remains slightly less than double the 2013 low of $705 per TEU seen on Oct. 18. The current rate is also up 10.1 percent year-over-year.

Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, U.S. West Coast, week ending Feb. 21, 2014.

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Spot container freight rates from Shanghai to U.S. East and West Coast ports experienced a fifth week without increase in the week of Feb. 21. The spot rate as indexed by the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index to the U.S. West Coast was $1,945 per 40-foot container, down 4.7 percent or $96 per FEU from last week. Thanks to increases in the first three weeks of 2014, the current rate is up 7.2 percent or $130 from Jan. 1, although it is down 17.7 percent year-over-year.

 

The rate from Shanghai to the U.S. East Coast was $3,294 per FEU, down 2.1 percent or $69 per FEU from last week. Today’s rate is up 5.0 percent from Jan.

1, but down 6.3 percent from the same week in 2013.

 

The TSA carriers have planned a $300 per FEU increase to take effect in mid-March, and a further May 1 increase by an amount that has not yet been announced.

Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, U.S. East Coast, week ending Feb. 21, 2014.

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The declines on all of these routes, especially the Asia-Europe trade lane, may make carriers “extremely nervous” for a number of reasons, Rainsford told the JOC. He said that the current rates, which have been in a “steep decline” since the turn of the Chinese New Year, coupled with seven successive weeks of decline since the GRI implementation in the beginning of January, could create a “very negative tone” for the trans-Pacific negotiations that will start to take place ahead of May contract renewals. Furthermore, the weekly declines are taking place despite carrier-reported load factors looking “reasonably buoyant,” and the spot market has indicated that carriers are subject to “normal market forces” with limited control of their revenues, Rainsford said.

 

“In my view, the worst could be still to come with the orderbook of large vessels for delivery 2014 extremely bloated and largely skewed for the Asia-Europe trade,” he concluded.

 

Alphaliner is forecasting that deliveries of new ships will add 9.6 percent of capacity to the existing fleet this year, and Drewry is projecting the capacity of the fleet of 10,000-TEU or larger ultra-large container ships will increase by 31.4 percent this year.