NEW YORK West Coast
exporters have successfully fought off proposed increases in
containerized freight prices, which depending on size
threatened to rise by as much as $200 per container in
Weaker export volumes due to
poor demand for several export commoditiesincluding scrap
metals, waste paper and plastic scraphelped exporters
stave off the general rate increases proposed by several
shipping companies, according to market participants.
Shipping companies initially
proposed to increase rates by $100 for 20-foot containers and
$200 for 40-foot containers by April 1. This week, scrap metal
exporters told AMM that final negotiations with
different shipping lines resulted in no increases, barring a
few that reported much lower increases on some routes.
"The container freight increases
have been negotiated. Most saw no increase, with some up-to-$25
increasesnone in the $150 to $200 range, as originally
proposed," one exporter said, adding that there was no support
in the demand/supply ratio or the price of fuel for shipping
companies that would substantiate the initial proposed
"The proposed increases always
start high and, in most cases, settle sideways to moderate
increases," he said. "There are also multiple players in this
scenario, not just one carrier. Different companies and
different routes settle out differently."
The proposed increases failed to
materialize because of weak export markets, a second exporter
said. "All three major export recyclable commodities are in a
downtrend," he said.
The market for plastic scrap
exports has struggled since China cracked down on its waste
imports and started examining containers, while waste paper
export volumes to China have also dropped recently, he
"In metal scrap, both copper and
ferrous demand has been very slow," he added.
In the containerized ferrous
scrap market, prices for an 80/20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy
melt dropped $10 per tonne this week to $360 c.f.r. Taiwan amid
little demand, the second exporter said.
"Therefore, the (rate increases)
didnt materialize," he said. "Several shipping lines kept
things even into April, and one line dropped $10 (per tonne).
All in all, (its) even."
Rates failed to increase this
month because container import business has also been "very
slow," a third exporter confirmed.
"They could not raise any
freight rates, and took out many large container ships and
docked them. (They are) having trouble getting containers at
Long Beach (Calif.) since they have a shortage," he said.