16 April 2014

[160414.EN.SEA] Container Prices Rise For First Time In Two Years, Vessels Remain Flat

NEW dry freight containers increased prices in the first few months of the year, while standard box prices remained at lowest price since 2009 following last year's decline but was still at same level as April 2013.

Containership prices remain dormant following a lackluster peak season with annual total for 2013, down from 2012 and well short of 2011, according to Drewry's latest Container Leasing and Container Census.

"It is too early to say whether the equipment pricing trend as truly reversed, as the box equipment market remains volatile," said Andrew Foxcroft, consultant with Drewry Maritime Research in a statement.

Separately, Export Development Canada made similar observations: "A recent rapid run-up now has exports of packaging materials and containers up 14 per cent year on year, far ahead of any single-year gain in the post crisis period" said EDC vice president Peter Hall in his latest upbeat weekly commentary.

Global container equipment fleet growth is again predicted to fall short of five per cent for 2014, with the box lease industry almost certain to account for most expansion and container carriers ordering a minority share of new containers.

This has already dominated during the opening quarter, with box lessors taking the most of new dry freight containers and an even bigger share of new reefer boxes.

Charter owners, rather than container carriers, are behind most of the recent orders for containerships.

Dry freight/reefer lease rates are likely to remain under pressure as in 2013, with little likelihood of any recovery in the initial cash returns generated from new equipment rental. New pricing is expected to stay depressed and volatile, and so will rental per diems continue with their struggle to remain at parity.

Source : HKSG.

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