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Shipping rates halved in third quarter, say shippers

10/6/2011 11:04:17 AM

The world's container shipping market may remain bleak for the rest of the year, after seeing shipping rates halved in the third quarter as western buyers tighten their purse strings amid growing fears of a global recession, an expert said.

"We can't see any major factors that can help stimulate US economic recovery and Europe's situation is even worse," said Sunny Ho, executive director of Hong Kong Shippers Council, which represents main exporters in Hong Kong, reported Reuters.

"The emerging markets have grown faster than the European and US markets, but they are unable to make up for the weak demand in traditional markets of Europe and the States," he told Reuters.

The Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SFCI) for European routes tumbled 56 percent to an average of US$807.86 per TEU in the third quarter from $1,842.67 in the same period last year.

Average container shipping rates from Shanghai to US West Coast fell 40 percent year-on-year to $1,639.93 during the same period, according to BOCOM International, which tracks the indexes compiled by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange.

Indicating faltering western demand, many container shipping companies still sit on extra capacity this month, traditionally a peak season due to Christmas orders, and they are finding it increasingly hard to impose peak-season surcharge, said Geoffrey Cheng, an analyst at BOCOM International.

"Shipping rates are expected to fall further in the fourth quarter," he said.


Cargonews Asia


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