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Forwarders report rising demand for ex-China box slots

2019-04-18 Source: Jctrans

Ocean rates could make further gains on Asia-Europe trade through May if carriers continue to ration capacity, according to one source

Forwarders report rising demand for container slots out of China with one source predicting ocean freight rates could continue to make gains on the Asia-Europe trade through May if carriers continue to ration capacity.

Spot freight rates on the Shanghai-Rotterdam trade rose 2% last week and are now 14% higher than a year earlier, according to the latest World Container Index as assessed by Drewry.

Although container shipping analysts contacted by Lloyd’s Loading List are hesitant to read too much into last week’s gains at this early stage, they agree there is a sizeable amount of data now available hinting that demand fundamentals on the trade could be improving.

As reported in Lloyd’s Loading List, Chinese export activity reawakened in March while forward manufacturing export order indicators are also strong.

And, earlier today, China released a slew of positive official economic data. These revealed that GDP expanded by 6.4% in the first quarter, a higher rate than most analysts forecast. Industrial production also jumped 8.5% year-on-year in March - the fastest growth since July 2014 – and fixed asset investment and retail sales surged.

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