January sees airfreight rates continue ahead of 2016 levels

Airfreight rates on key trade lanes continued to track ahead of last year’s levels in January, but prices did decline compared with the levels registered in December.
The latest figures from TAC Index show that airfreight rates on transpacific services from Hong Kong to the US declined in January to $3.24 per kg compared with $3.51 per kg in December.
On services from Hong Kong to Europe rates declined to $2.46 per kg from $2.78 per kg in December and on Frankfurt-North America they slipped $2.55 per kg from $3.08 per kg.
However, the declines should come as no surprise as traditionally demand is weaker in January than December, resulting in a slowdown in the market.
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With regards to year-on-year trends it is difficult to draw any solid conclusions because of the changing timings of the Chinese New Year, which this year fell on January 28 and last year on February 8.
However, prices are ahead of where they were last year.
On Hong Kong-US services rates are up 9.1% year on year, while on Hong Kong to Europe there is a 6.5% improvement (2015 figures for Frankfurt-North America are not available).
On the other hand, the speed of month-on-month decline is mixed compared with last year. In 2016, Hong Kong-Europe prices slipped by 10.1% between December and January whereas this year the fall was slightly stronger at 11.5%.
In contrast, Hong Kong-US this year slipped by 7.5% in January compared with December, whereas last year the slide was stronger at 12.1%.
Looking ahead, rates tend to continue to decline each month until around March/April, in line with seasonal demand, before remaining flat until July/August when they start to pick up as the market heads towards the peak season.

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