Analyzing Freight Rate Trends On Indian Trades Amidst Market Dynamics Dnd Export Resilience


  • Container freight rates on trades out of India have seen a continuous softening trend following the highs induced by the Red Sea crisis, as revealed in the latest market analysis by Container News.
  • In the westbound India-Europe trade, average short-term contract rates for 20-foot and 40-foot container bookings from West India (Jawaharlal Nehru Port/Nhava Sheva or Mundra Port) to Felixstowe/London Gateway (UK) have declined in April compared to the end of March.
  • Rates have cooled to US$2,700 per 20-foot container and US$2,800 per 40-foot container.

Similarly, rates for eastbound cargo (imports into India) on various port pairings have moderately slid from end-March averages. For instance, shipments from Felixstowe/London Gateway to West India have seen rates decline to US$1,700 per 20-foot container and US$2,000 per 40-foot container.

India-US Trades

Downward corrections in short-term contract prices have been observed in the India-US trades. Average rates in April for shipments from West India (Nhava Sheva/Mundra) to the US East Coast (New York) have decreased to US$3,650 per 20-foot container and US$4,300 per 40-foot container.

Intra-Asia Trades Out of India

Carrier contract rates on intra-Asia trades out of India have continued to remain in negative territory on most port pairings. For example, rates for West India-Yantian (South China) and West India-Tianjin (North China) trades have been revised to as low as US$20 per TEU and US$40 per FEU.

Export Outlook for Fiscal Year 2023-24

Despite challenges, Indian merchandise exports by value in fiscal year 2023-24 showed resilience, down only 3% year-over-year. Key sectors contributing to export performance include electronic goods, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and engineering goods. However, recent tensions in West Asia and the Red Sea crisis have added to exporters’ woes, with increased freight rates and surcharges.

The ongoing softening of freight rates on Indian trades reflects market dynamics following the Red Sea crisis. Despite challenges, Indian exporters have shown resilience, contributing to the growth of exports and the economy. However, addressing geopolitical issues and enhancing trade agreements are crucial for sustaining export growth in the coming fiscal year.

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Source: Container News