Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Shipping: "Asia-Europe container rates fall amid coronavirus threat"

A quick hit from FreightWaves, February 4:
Container shipping rates between Asia and Europe saw one the biggest drops in 10 months as ports and shipping companies impose more restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Tuesday, the number of new cases of the flu-like disease reported globally rose 18% overnight to 20,630, with two-thirds of those in the Chinese province of Hubei, the disease’s epicenter, the World Health Organization said. Total deaths from the illness rose at the same rate, reaching 425, all but one inside China.

Along with a rapid quarantine of 50 million people in and around the afflicted city of Wuhan, China is limiting the spread by keeping much of the nation’s population home for another week after the end of its Lunar New Year celebration.

The near-closure of the biggest importer of coal, iron ore, grains and oil is reverberating through shipping markets, with rates for dry bulk and tanker shipping all having fallen sharply in recent days.
Now container rates are following their lead. The Freightos Baltic Index assessment for spot tariffs on the China-North Europe (SONAR: FBXD.CNER) front haul fell $155.83 to $1919.26 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU) on Monday, the largest absolute drop since a $252-per-FEU drop on April 2, 2019....MORE