The Valencia Containerised Freight Index (VCFI), the indicator that measures the trend and evolution of container transport costs by sea from the Port of Valencia, recorded a fall of -9.28% in April compared to the previous month, the eighth consecutive month in this line. The Index stands at 2,198 points, a similar level to two years ago (April 2021) and accumulating a growth since the beginning of the historical series in January 2018 of 119.81%.
The downward trend is general in all the areas analysed by the VCFI with special relevance in Central America and the Caribbean (-33.74%), the Indian Subcontinent (-29.62%) and West Coast Africa (-26.44%). Regarding the main areas with which Valenciaport operates, the VCFI in the Western Mediterranean has decreased by 9.82% while the Far East has decreased by 7.12%. Both the inactive fleet and congestion in the main world ports also continues to decrease.
The international situation remains complex due to the war in Ukraine, inflation and financial problems. In fact, according to the consultancy Xeneta, both imports and exports in the main markets have been declining in the last month. In Europe, foreign sales have fallen by 9.1% and imports have dropped by 19.5%, while in the Far East, exports have also been reduced by -10% and imports have fallen by 15.5%.
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About supply in maritime transport, data from the consultancy Alphaliner show that the idle fleet has decreased with respect to the previous month. Thus, at the end of April, 89 vessels were idle, totalling 378,708 TEU (228,235 TEU less than the last accounting in March), representing 1.4% of the total active fleet.
Congestion levels in the world’s major ports continue on a downward trend, although the situation has not yet fully normalised. Reports from the Linerlytica platform show that congestion reached 514 vessels at anchorage at the end of April, totalling 1,698,742 TEUs, which represented 8.7 per cent of the total active container fleet. The port with the highest throughput was Shanghai/Ningbo with 399,862 TEUs at anchorage, followed by Quingdao with 191,419 TEUs. In the US port system the most congested port in April was Savannah with a total of 28,422 TEU, while at European level the port of Rotterdam was the most affected with 33,384 TEU.
In the energy sector, there has been an increase of 8.05% in the average price of a barrel of Brent crude oil, while the value of bunkering (refuelling of ships at sea) has risen by 1.32% in the last month analysed.
VCFI Western Mediterranean
As for the Western Mediterranean sub-index, after the increase in the month of March, a downward oscillation of -9.82% is again observed. The VCFI with this area reaches 1,817.37 points, accumulating a growth of 81.74% since the beginning of the series in 2018.
The volume of exports from Valenciaport to Morocco and Tunisia, the main trading partners in this area, has recently increased. For their part, export traffic to Algeria continues to be at minimum levels, given the geopolitical problems that have been present for months.
VCFI Far East
The Far East area fell again for the third consecutive month. In April, the Index declined by 7.12% from the previous month to 1,817.33 points, reflecting a cumulative growth of 81.73% compared to the start of the series in January 2018. In this market, it should be noted that Valenciaport’s export levels to China, its main trading partner, have fluctuated slightly downwards.