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Freight rates on Indian trades continue to cool amid falling export volumes

Container freight rates on trades out of India have continued to cool, albeit at a slower pace on shipments to Europe, according to the latest market analysis by Container News.

On the westbound India-Europe trade, average contract rates from West India [Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT)/Nhava Sheva or Mundra Port] to Felixstowe/London Gateway in the United Kingdom or Rotterdam in the Netherlands have softened to US$1,250 per 20-foot container and US$1,450/40-foot container, from US$1,300 and U$1,600, respectively, at the end of December.

For West India-Genoa (the West Mediterranean) cargo, average rates have plunged to US$1,200/TEU and US$1,350/FEU, from the December levels of US$1,500/TEU and US$1,600/FEU.

Eastbound cargo (imports into India) prices for these port pairings, however, have remained relatively steady month-on-month. According to the analysis, rates now stand at US$1,300/20-foot box and US$1,400/40-foot box for bookings from Felixstowe/Rotterdam, down from US$1,400 and US$1,600, but have seen changes for Indian cargo to the West Mediterranean (Genoa) – hovering at US$1,150/20-foot container and US$1,400/40-foot container.

Average short-term contract prices for Indian cargo moving to the US East Coast (New York) have seen a further steep slide from the December levels – dropping to US$2,550 per TEU, versus US$3,700, and US$4,150 per FEU, from US$5,050 and to US$1,850/TEU, from US$2,075, and US$2,650/FEU, from US$3,050, for shipments to the US West Coast (Los Angeles).

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