Mixed results for airfreight rates in February

Airfreight rates on services from Hong Kong to Europe and Hong Kong to the US continued to decline in February, while there was an improvement on services between Frankfurt and North America.
The latest figures from TAC Index show that average airfreight prices on services from Hong Kong to the US slipped to $2.54 per kg in February compared with $3.24 per kg in January.
However, prices on the trade are just ahead of this time last year when carriers were able to achieve $2.53 per kg.
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There was a similar month-on-month decline on services from Hong Kong to Europe, which slipped to $2.13 per kg in February from $2.46 per kg in January. Prices on this route were behind last year’s level for February when carriers were able to achieve $2.14 per kg.
Perhaps surprisingly, services from Frankfurt to North America saw the average airfreight rate increase to $2.64 per kg.
Figures for February 2016 are unavailable making it hard to understand whether this is a normal seasonal increase or a surprising result.
While February rates are roughly in line with last year’s performance, the first part of the year is often affected by the Chinese New Year holiday, which sees factories in China close for two weeks.
This year the holiday fell at the very end of January and would have had an impact on services over the first couple of weeks of February.
As a result, it can be difficult to draw any conclusions on how the market is shaping up during the first part of the year.
However, a slightly clearer picture can be gained by combining January and February figures, which show that prices over the first two months of the year were ahead of 2016 levels for both Hong Kong-Europe and Hong Kong-US.

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