Decline in container freight rates on major Indian voyages is slowing during contract negotiations

The decline in container freight rates on some trade routes from India appears to have slowed, according to the latest market analysis Container News.

In western India-Europe traffic, average contract rates from West Indies (Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT)/Nhava Sheva or Mundra Port) to Felixstowe/London Gateway (UK) or Rotterdam (Netherlands) are $850 per 20-foot container and $950 US$ per 40ft container from US$950 or US$1,050 at the end of March.

For shipments from the West Indies to Genoa (Western Mediterranean), contract rates have remained constant month-to-month at US$850/20ft boxes and US$950/40ft boxes.

However, with the exception of Mediterranean trade, eastbound freight rates (imports to India) for these port pairs have continued to fall month-on-month.

According to the analysis, average rates are now $1,050/20ft container and $1,150/40ft container for Felixstowe/Rotterdam to West Indies bookings, up from $1,250 and $1,350 respectively last month. However, prices for shipments from the Western Mediterranean (Genoa) to the West Indies have remained unchanged at US$900/20ft box and US$1,006/40ft box.

Average short-term contract rates for India-US voyages have shown some early signs of an upward trend after major airlines began targeting General Rate Increases (GRI) – in the region of $500 per container as of March 29. Prices for shipments from the West Indies (Nhava Sheva/Mundra) to the US East Coast (New York) are US$1,550 per 20ft box versus US$1,502 and US$1,700 per 40ft box , down from $1,970. and at US$1,500/20ft container vs. US$1,373 and US$1,741/40ft case, steady at March levels, for containerized loads shipped to the US West Coast (Los Angeles). become.

Average rates also remained stable month-on-month for trips between the West Indies and the US Gulf Coast (Houston) – at US$1,735 per 20-foot and US$2,735 per 40-foot container.

Major airlines like MSC, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd have announced a second GRI from May 1 – on a larger scale – and industry sources say the success of the recovery will depend heavily on that attempt as contract negotiations move forward.

However, in US-India trade (return leg), rates on short-term contracts have continued to decline measurably, averaging 10-20% from levels maintained by major operators over the past month.

According to the CN According to analysis, USEC (New York) shipment prices have now fallen to $750/20ft box from $908 and $900/40ft box from $1,125; at $2,153/20ft box vs. $2,509 and $2,753/40ft box vs. $2,509 for USWC (Los Angeles) bookings; and $1,559/20ft and $1,868/40ft boxes from the US Gulf Coast, compared to $1,870 and $2,093 respectively a month earlier to the West Indies (Nhava Sheva/Mundra ).

Fares for intra-Asian trade from India have also continued to fall month-on-month, with the exception of bookings in southern China CN analysis shows. For West Indies-Yantian (South China), rates remained steady at US$200/20ft boxes and US$300/40ft containers, while rates for West Indies-Central China (Shanghai) plummeted to US$20 are. 20ft box and $50/40ft, up from $50 and $70 respectively a month ago.

The average contract rates for bookings from the West Indies (Nhava Sheva/JNPT or Mundra) to Tianjin (Northern China) are from US$90 to US$80 per 20ft container and from US$180 to US$160/40 -Foot box dropped. Month for month.

For Indian freight to Singapore, rates are down from March averages of $25 and $25 respectively.

For Indian shipments to Hong Kong, major carriers are accepting bookings for $30/20ft container versus $50 and $60/40ft container versus $70, the company said CN Analysis.

April prices for West Indies to Jebel Ali/Dubai shipments have fallen from US$100 and US$250 respectively to US$75/20ft container and US$200/40ft case at the end of March.

Contract rate levels on intra-Asia round-trip trips have fallen between 10% and 25%, with booking rates from Shanghai and Tianjin to the West Indies (Nhava Sheva/Mundra) taking the bigger hit, according to CN analysis.

Meanwhile, Indian merchandise exports by value for FY2022-23 hit an all-time high of $447.47 billion, up 6% year-on-year, according to government data.

“Reaching a milestone in commodity exports is largely driven by phenomenal growth in exports of electronics and petroleum products, coupled with growth in agro and processed foods, marine products, leather goods, apparel, pharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals, and organic and inorganic chemicals,” A Sakthivel, President of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), said in a statement.

Sakthivel also said, “Exports have now become a national priority, which has helped give further impetus to the sector.”

He further explained: “However, the need of the hour is to provide marketing support to further promote ‘India’ branded products and services worldwide, GST (Goods and Services Tax) exemption from freight charges for exports and a 3-6 month grace period be provided for when a significant change in foreign trade policy is announced, so that existing contracts can be executed, taking into account the respective advantages.”

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