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Rates plummet at dramatic speeds

Only once before have spot rates between Asia and Europe declined as fast as they did last week, writes SeaIntel.

Photo: Wärtsila

Even though the container carriers remain at a safe distance from the dramatic decline of the rates on Asia-Europe in May-June of this year, the rates have decreased non-stop since the carriers' modestly succesful general rate increases implemented on August 1st.

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From Asia to Northern Europe, spot rates declined by USD 535 per teu, almost 36 percent, and from Asia to the Mediterranean, rates declined by USD 487 per teu, corresponding to a 33 percent drop over the last seven weeks. That's the second-fastest decline in spot rates between Asia and Europe ever recorded by the SCFI index, writes analysts SeaIntel in its weekly newsletter, the Sunday Spotlight. The speed of the recent rate decreases is surpassed only by the decline in April 2013.

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Last week, spot rates from Shanghai to Northern Europe declined by USD 107 per teu, a 10 percent drop, and a drop of around the same percentage was recorded from Shanghai to the Mediterranean, while rates on the Pacific, from the Far East to the US West Coast declined by 3.7 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively, says SeaIntel, pointing out that there's nothing to indicate that the descending spiral will stop anytime soon.

Outside of the major east-west routes, the Shanghai-Dubai index declined by USD 307 per teu during the last two weeks for a total of USD 862 per teu. This means that the entire rate increase from September 1st on this route is gone. The Shanghai-South America (Santos) index decreased by another USD 98, down to USD 851, a drop of around 30 percent over the last five weeks, according to SeaIntel.

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