The Valencia Containerised Freight Index (VCFI) for the month of May decreases in a scenario in which the activity of the maritime sector is marked for yet another month by the geopolitical situation. Thus, in the fifth month of the year, this price index, which is based on the export prices recorded by the Port of Valencia in 13 geographical areas around the world, stood at 1,606.61 points, representing a monthly drop of -12.98%, a decrease since the beginning of the year of -11% and an increase of +12% in the last 12 months.

This decrease in the value of the index is unevenly distributed over the time horizon of the data, as well as in the geographical areas that make up the index. In this sense, a slight decrease is observed in the Western Mediterranean area (-5.58) while the fall is more pronounced in the case of the Far East (-18.68).

The VCFI Commentary for the fifth month of the year notes that ‘according to the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for May, an increase in port traffic has been observed compared to the previous month. However, in European ports, container throughput decreased by almost 8 percent compared to the previous month. This implies that a significant part of the important increase experienced in April has been reversed’.

In addition, it states that ‘considering the factors affecting shipping supply, in the context of the energy and commodities market, there was a 9.1% decrease in the average price of Brent crude oil in May. And, in the marine bunker sector, the cost of bunkering in the world’s top 20 ports, according to Ship&Bunker data, also showed a 5.5 percent drop’.

VCFI Western Mediterranean

The Western Mediterranean sub-index registers a fall of -5.58% with respect to the previous month. With this, the VCFI for this area stands at 1,908.24 points.

As for Valencia port, the most recent records indicate an increase in exports to Morocco and a slight increase in activities related to Algeria. Likewise, there is a notable drop in cargo to Tunisia.

VCFI Far East

In the Far East area, a fall of -18.68% was recorded, standing at 2,358.29 points. Compared with the previous month, Valencia port’s export traffic in this area has increased overall (according to the latest available data). However, about China, the area’s main trading partner, a slight decrease in export flows has been observed, which could, in part, explain the retraction in the level of freight rates. According to the VCFI commentary for the month of May, ‘in Chinese ports, container throughput increased significantly compared to the previous month. However, in European ports, container throughput decreased by almost 8% compared to April. This implies that a significant part of the significant increase experienced last month has been reversed. One possible reason for this could be that container vessels are bypassing the Red Sea and instead choosing to sail around Africa, resulting in delays in the delivery of some of the expected cargo’.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News