The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) for Week 15 fell 4.4% from the previous week to 829.29 points, the Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE) unveiled recently, at a time when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is making exports from China more and more uncertain.

The value of exports to Europe plunged 10.4% in the first quarter (January-March) owing to the escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak. Freight rate reductions by operators led to a decline in the market for the week in question, lowering the spot rate from Shanghai 1.2% to $725 per TEU. There was downward pressure on transport demand on the route to the Mediterranean, too. The freight rate to the region weakened 2.1% to $841 per TEU.

The North America market remained on a bearish trend, as private-sector demand was hit hard by the pandemic. The spot rates to the east and west coasts were $2,637 per FEU, down 3.1%, and $1,528 per FEU, down 6.3%.

There was a reduction in transport demand on the trade route to the Middle East Gulf as well, which lowered the freight rate from Shanghai by a notable 12.9% to $708 per TEU. Containers to Australia/New Zealand and South America were exported in similar conditions, decreasing the rates by 2.2% to $872 per TEU and 8.8% to $919 per TEU, respectively.

Although transport demand was weak for shipments destined to Japan, the rate to Kansai managed to remain unchanged at $234 per TEU, while that for Kanto-bound containers improved 0.8% to $243 per TEU.  




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