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Container freight rates for Indian exports experience fluctuations

Container freight rates for exports from India have experienced fluctuations, as detailed in Container News' analysis of May market data. On the India-Europe westbound route, rates showed mixed trends with a decrease in 40-foot container rates to the UK, while maintaining previous levels for 20-foot containers. Similarly, rates to Rotterdam remained stable for 20-foot containers but saw a decrease for 40-foot containers. A decline was also observed in rates for West India to Genoa bookings.

Conversely, import rates into India from Europe and the Mediterranean have decreased. The analysis highlighted a notable drop in rates from Felixstowe/London Gateway and Rotterdam to West India, as well as from Genoa to West India.

The India-US trade lane also saw significant rate adjustments. While rates from West India to the US East Coast and West Coast adjusted downwards from their previous highs, they increased slightly for the latter. The US Gulf Coast to West India rates experienced a decrease.

On the return leg from the US to India, short-term contract rates showed a cooling trend for the East Coast but remained steady for the West Coast and Gulf Coast to West India shipments.

Intra-Asia trades out of India continued to face challenges with some routes reporting negative territory rates, particularly to China and Singapore, although slight improvements were noted for shipments to Jebel Ali.

Despite these freight rate challenges, India's export sector has shown resilience with a slight increase in exports by value at the start of fiscal year 2024-25. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) highlighted the impact of global geopolitical tensions on trade but remained optimistic about future growth, especially with potential opportunities arising from the US-China tariff war and the need for supportive measures for the export sector.


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