Spot rates and contract rates are formed almost independently of each other

The dynamic drop in the spot container market has not yet strongly impacted the contract market. The value of the XSI long-term container freight rate index decreased in September by only 1.1%, while the Drewry WCI composite spot index fell by a third over the month.

According to Xeneta’s September issue, the first reduction in contract rates since the beginning of the year indicates that shippers are still able to conclude new contracts at lower rates and seek to renegotiate the terms of previously concluded contracts.

Xeneta records the most dynamic decline in container shipping from Asia - the value of this XSI sub-index decreased by 3.0% over a month compared to the previous month, down to 223.2 points. The sub-index for exports to Asia fell by 1.2% month-on-month.

The index for imports to Europe fell in September by 1.7% compared to August, and for exports - by only 0.1%.

The US container export segment remains the only one where contract rates continue to rise. In September, the value of this sub-index grew by 0.3% compared to August and reached a record high of 151.2 points. The XSI index for US imports followed the general trend - 0.7% m/m.

According to Xeneta forecasts, the index will continue to decline, and the pace is likely to accelerate, as the gap between the contract and spot markets has reached record levels on most routes: the XSI contract rate index is now 112% higher than last September, and spot rates are already more than one half as high as the levels of the previous year.