my country’s foreign trade import and export growth in the first seven months has returned to double digits. The continuous decline in international freight rates will also benefit subsequent foreign trade shipments to a certain extent, but it also reflects the indisputable fact that the global market is weak. . The industry’s previously generally bullish view on freight rates or that they would continue to fluctuate at high levels has also changed.
Container freight prices fell for eight consecutive years
The Shanghai Shipping Exchange announced that the latest SCFI index continued to fall by 148.13 points to 3739.72 points, a decrease of 3.81%, falling for eight consecutive weeks.
Reaching a new low since mid-June last year, the four major long-haul routes fell simultaneously, with the European route and the US-Western route expanding their declines, with weekly declines of 4.61% and 12.60% respectively.
The latest SCFI index shows:
·The freight rate per box from Shanghai to Europe is US$5,166, down US$250 or 3.81% on the week;
·Mediterranean line is US$5,971 per box, down US$119 on the week, down 1.99%;
·The freight rate per 40-foot container in the West Coast is US$6,499, down US$195 or 2.91% on the week;
·The freight rate per 40-foot container in the East US is US$9,330, down US$18 or 0.19% on the week;
·The freight rate of the South American line (Santos) is US$9,531 per box, a weekly increase of US$92, or 0.97%;
·The freight rate per box on the Persian Gulf route was US$2,601/TEU, down 6.7% from the previous issue;
·The freight rate of Southeast Asia line (Singapore) is US$846 per box, a weekly decrease of US$122, or 12.60%.
The freight index of one of the 21 routes increased, while the freight index of 20 routes fell. Among the major ports along the “Maritime Silk Road”, the freight index of 1 port increased and the freight index of 15 ports decreased.
The key route index conditions are as follows:
·European-Chinese routes: European-Chinese routes maintain an oversupply situation, and market freight rates continue to fall, and the decline has expanded.
·North American route: The freight index for the US East route was 3207.5 points, down 0.5% from last week; the freight index for the US West route was 3535.7 points, down 5.0% from last week.
·Middle East Routes: The Middle East Routes Index was 1988.9 points, down 9.8% from last week.
Analysts believe that as the epidemic prevention and control situation at home and abroad stabilizes, the steady decline in international shipping prices this year is reasonable. The recent rapid decline is caused by the combination of factors such as improved shipping efficiency, lower domestic and foreign demand, falling international oil prices, and steady increase in shipping capacity.
The global market is weak and freight rates may continue to decline
Relevant industry insiders said that the current dullness is mainly due to the fact that these few months are not the peak season for shipments. Coupled with the impact of the previous epidemic, orders shrunk in the second quarter, and now there is even less demand for shipments. With the arrival of the peak shipping season after September, this situation is expected to change.
Zhou Shihao, CEO of the international logistics service platform “Yunqunar”, also believes that if there are no special changes, freight rates are expected to stop falling by about 10% to 15% this year. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons in the fourth quarter of Europe and the United States, etc. Festival demand remains.
However, against the background and expectations of a weak global market, industry insiders’ previously generally bullish views on freight rates or believing that high oscillations will last longer have changed.
Chen Yang, editor-in-chief of Xinde Maritime Network, said that the recent decline in freight rates is related to the slowdown in global port congestion, although “recent strikes and port conditions in Europe and the United States are not very optimistic.” But the bigger background is that more and more people in the industry are worried about the global economic environment, especially the impact of high inflation in European and American countries on consumer confidence.
Maersk Chief Financial Officer Patrick Jany said freight rates may fall in the coming months. When freight rates stop their downward trend, they will stabilize at a higher level than before the epidemic. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne Nagel, predicts that freight rates will eventually stabilize at 2 to 3 times pre-pandemic levels.
The foreign trade market is divided
Amid the expected changes from bullish or high oscillations to downwards, there is still great uncertainty in the future trend of shipping prices. At the same time, unlike the general rise in various industries in the past two years, this year’s foreign trade will also see obvious differentiation and show structured growth.
Compared with the data in the first half of the year, my country’s import and export, export and import growth rates have all accelerated in the first seven months, and the overall foreign trade is showing a recovery trend. In “OrderUnder the background of controllable “single outflow”, in the first seven months, exports of mechanical and electrical products and labor-intensive products continued to maintain double-digit growth.
Faced with the shrinking market pie, Zhou Shihao said that traditional labor-intensive products or the previously popular “stay-at-home economy” categories are facing greater challenges, but exports of new energy equipment, lithium batteries, electric vehicles and other categories are growing rapidly. , the value of goods is also high, which has played a greater role in promoting my country’s foreign trade. At the same time, the recovery of overseas tourism consumption will also drive the growth in demand for camping and outdoor sports products such as tents, thus bringing opportunities to China’s foreign trade companies.
Wei Jianguo, former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce and Vice Chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said that generally speaking, only a country like China with a highly complete production chain can meet the multi-variety and multi-level needs of the global market, so with As commodities continue to fall and shipping prices continue to fall, the window period for China’s foreign trade is expected to continue to be extended. Next, we must take the initiative to “grab orders”, strengthen trucking services, use new forms such as charter flights, and pay more attention to and solve the difficulties of foreign trade companies, so that companies can fully enjoy the dividends brought by the window period.