Freight rates for container exports from China continued to fall in Week 8 despite shipping capacity adjustments. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), an indicator for spot rates for container exports from Shanghai that do not include terminal handling charges (THCs), declined 2.9% to 946.68 points, according to the Shanghai Shipping Exchange (SSE). The composite index has remained on a downward trend for seven consecutive weeks.

On east-west trade lanes, spot rates for containers from Shanghai to Europe sank 3.1% to $882 per TEU, which have trended down for seven weeks in a row, and to the Mediterranean, rates waned 1.7% to $1,605 per TEU. Spot rates slid 3.1% to $1,234 per FEU on the route to the west coast of North America, which have stayed on the decline for four weeks running, and 4.2% to $2,391 per FEU on that to the east coast, which have continued to decrease for 38 straight weeks.

On north-south routes, spot rates dropped 4.6% to $1,029 per TEU for containers to the Middle East Gulf. Remaining bearish for three consecutive weeks, they have managed to stay above the $1,000-per-TEU line since September 2022. Spot rates fell 6.2% to $346 per TEU for exports to Australia and New Zealand, which have, in contrast, been sluggish in three digits since October and gone as low as those for shipments destined to Japan. Spot rates for containers to South America went down 0.1% to $1,507 per TEU. They have, however, remained higher than pre-pandemic levels between $1,400 per TEU and $1,500 per TEU since the beginning of the year. Spot rates for exports to Africa diminished across the board.

In intra-Asia waters, spot rates shrank 1.5% to $326 per TEU on the route to the Kansai region of Japan and 1.2% to $336 per TEU on that to the Kanto region. Rates waned 3.7% to $155 per TEU for containers to Southeast Asia and 1.4% to $208 per TEU for those to South Korea.




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