Welcome to the summary of the April 2020 edition of the Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI) for the long-term container market. As the global economy reels from the ongoing impact of the corona virus, hard work and strategic thinking from the carrier community appears to have mitigated immediate damage to long-term contracted ocean freight rates. Here is a snippet of how the long-term container market has adjusted to that new normal in April 2020.
According to the latest XSI® Public Indices report from Xeneta, the global XSI® increased by 0.7% in Apr-20 to 115.84 points, thereby reversing the decline of 0.5% reported in the previous month. The benchmark has been successful in maintaining its upward trend, which started in the final quarter of 2019, with the index now 4.8% higher than in Oct-19. Since the end of 2019, it has increased by 2.9% and it is 11.0% higher than Apr-19.
XSI® - Europe Imports / Exports
Imports on the European XSI® have continued to slide from the all-time high reported in Feb-20. In Apr-20 the index declined by 3.3% to 114.95, ensuring the benchmark is just 0.2% higher than at the end of 2019. Developments in European exports were more positive, with the index increasing by 2.8% in Apr-20 to 120.34 points.
Whilst the short-term outlook remains bleak, the measures taken by carriers have ensured there is still a long way to go before spot rates on the key Far-East-Europe trade reach the lows recorded back in 2016.
XSI® - Far East Imports / Exports
Far East imports on the XSI® fell by 1.4% in Apr-20 to 100.57 points, negating the small increase reported in the previous month. Compared to the same period of 2019 the benchmark is 10.9% lower but has increased by 2.0% since Dec-19. Meanwhile, exports remained virtually unchanged in April at 122.35. Unlike imports on the trade, the exports index is 10.3% higher than Apr-19 and has increased by 3.2% since the end of 2019.
XSI® - US Imports / Exports
US imports on the XSI® have continued to climb, increasing by 4.5% in Apr-20 to 129.20 points. The index is now 33.2% higher than the same period of 2019 and has increased by 3.3% since Dec-19. US exports also rose in Apr-20, jumping by 1.9% month-on-month to 99.42. The exports benchmark is 6.8% higher than Apr-19 and has risen by 3.7% since the end of last year.