China-US trade relations: keeping the lipstick off the pig
This is a thoughtful and considered article on US-China trade relations. It looks at the ...
Container spot rates marginally declined this week ahead of Chinese New Year, with carriers announcing blank sailings as they look to stem the bleed from an expected decrease in demand following the lunar festivities, which begin tomorrow.
Asia-North Europe recorded a 1.05% decline in rates, to $1,041 per teu, according to today’s Shanghai Container Freight Index (SCFI), following a week-on-week decline of 3% last week.
Asia-Mediterranean route rates dropped 1.8%, to $986 per teu, after falling 2.3% last week.
But it was Asia-US west coast sailings that felt the biggest impact of declining demand, as rates dropped 2.3%, to £2,106 per teu after 2% decline last week.
Asia-US east coast rates recorded a 0.3% week-on-week decline, to £3,637 per teu.
This morning, Hong Kong carrier OOCL also announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 operational results, with a 5.9% increase in its operated capacity negating volume growth of 9.1%, as full-year revenues plummeted 9.9% to $4.7bn, from $5.2bn in 2015.
During 2016 it carried just over 6m teu, with the transpacific the star performer, growing by 182% to just over 1.5m teu. In the fourth quarter, its transpacific carryings grew 30.6% to 440,000 teu, presumably reflecting gains following the bankruptcy of Hanjin.
However, its largest trade for 2016 remained the intra-Asia & Australia corridor, where it carried just under 3.2m teu.
Fourth-quarter results showed a total volume growth of 20.2% matched by an upturn in revenues, which increased 10.3% year-on-year to $1.3bn, despite a 4.4% capacity increase.
And responding to an expected downturn in demand following Chinese New Year, OOCL has also joined other carriers in withdrawing services, with cancellations to its Asia-North America sailings.
Its North Pacific 2 westbound service, departing Hong Kong on 10 February has been withdrawn.
G6 Alliance partner Hapag-Lloyd said the westbound NP2 and SC1 services would be blanked on 23 February, and westbound SVS service on 14 March. It will also blank the eastbound service SC1 on 2 February, and CC4, SC2 and SVS on 10 February.
MSC, part of the 2M Alliance with Maersk, has withdrawn its eastbound Tiger (Maesrk AE15) service, departing the Turkish port of Yarimca on 4 March and 11 March, and its westbound Dragon (Maersk AE20) service departing Beirut on 6 March and 20 March.