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CONTAINER RATES ALERT: Dec 2018 Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI) Long-Term Contracts Update

Katherine Barrios
Dec 19, 2018

Oslo, Norway – Dec 20, 2018 -- The XSI ™ Global benchmark declined 2.1% this month to 108.31 points, having increased by 1.4% in Nov-18. 

The fall coincides with the traditional slowdown recorded for this time of the year and reflects declines seen on some of the major trades. However, despite the fall, the index is still at a similar level (+0.1%) to that recorded at the same period of last year. Year-to-date the benchmark is 0.5% lower, having failed to meaningfully reverse the downward trend reported since the summer. 

XSI ™ - Europe Imports / Exports 

European imports on the XSI ™ fell 1.1% in Dec-18 to 109.36 points. However, the index is still 5.0% higher than the equivalent period of 2017 and remains 4.3% higher than the start of 2018. 

Meanwhile, European exports on the index remained almost unchanged on the previous month, increasing by just 0.6% to 110.07. Although the exports benchmark is 0.2% lower than Dec-17, it is up 0.3 % since the start of the year. 

XSI ™ - Far East Imports / Exports

The Far East Imports XSI ™ fell 3.3% in Dec-18 to 109.96 points as its continued demise shows no signs of abating. Since its high of 135.43 recorded in Nov-17, it has fallen by 18.8%. Year-to-date the benchmark is down 16.3% and it is 18.4% lower than the same period of 2017. 

Time will tell as to whether China’s recent agreement with the US to purchase what it describes as a very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products from the States, will have any meaningful impact on the Far East imports index. 

Far East exports also witnessed a substantial month-on-month fall, declining by 4.5% to 116.23. The benchmark is now just 0.7% higher than the same period a year earlier and is up just 1.3% since the start of the year. The decline on the Far East exports benchmark can be partly attributed to reduced demand from the US, as shippers front-loaded orders due to trade tariff uncertainty. 

XSI ™ - US Imports / Exports 

The XSI ™ for US imports declined 5.7% in Dec-18 to 101.60 points, thereby negating most of the 6.4% increase recorded in the previous month. As a result of this decline, the index is now just 0.7% higher than Jan-18 and 2.5% higher than Dec-17. 

The decline follows on from falls reported in the spot market, as the demand relating to shippers seeking to fulfill imports prior to further tariffs begins to wane. However, with the future status of the trade war anything but certain, despite a 90-day ‘cease fire’, the market could be in for a bumpy ride should new tariffs be imposed, leading to another surge in demand. 

US exports on the XSI ™ also declined, albeit less aggressively, falling 0.2% month-on-month to 87.53. Although the fall was minimal, the benchmark is now down 7.1% year-to-date and is 7.8% lower than the same period of 2017. 

The monthly XSI™ Public Indices report is meant to give an indication of the global market movements for long-term contracts in the container shipping industry focusing on the biggest regions in the world. To get the full report, please visit: https://www.xeneta.com/xsi-public-indices 

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