Sea freight rates from China, Far East down by a quarter from last month

2. Sea Freight
Sea freight rates from China and East Asia have seen as significant drop in the last two months. (Photo: Pixabay)
AMMAN — Sea freight rates for goods coming from China and East Asia have seen a significant drop, said Nabil Khatib, vice president of the Amman Chamber of Commerce (ACC), adding that he expects such a drop to be reflected on the prices of imported goods on the local market within two months’ time.اضافة اعلان

Khatib told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, on Wednesday that the price of a 40-cubic-foot container from Shanghai to the port of Aqaba had come down to $7,500 a week ago compared to about $10,000 last month.

He stressed that the decrease would include all consumer goods, including raw materials, spare parts, and others, adding that this decrease will reduce the prices of goods locally, thus causing a decrease in the prices of goods in the market.

“Another drop in sea freight rates is forecast due to the shortage of commodities from China,” Khatib said, adding that this decrease will negatively impact the Kingdom’s exports due to a shortage of containers that will go to some countries.

“We cannot predict the percentage of the decrease (in prices) because it is directly related to the value of the goods and shipping fees,” Khatib added, noting that they feel optimistic and that this decrease will reflect positively on the citizen in light of the current difficult economic conditions.

Jordan imports about 500,000 TEUs, or twenty-foot equivalent units, annually, compared to 120,000 TEUs in exports.

Maher Abu Eisha, an owner of an import and export company and a trader, said: “I am optimistic about this decrease because it will increase the demand for goods and encourage traders to import.”

As for Ghaleb Orabi, a trader in Aqaba, he said: “We shipped goods six months ago, and I did not ship after that because of the rise in sea freight fees, and this rise led to a shortage of goods in the market, as the container remains at sea for about a month.”

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were shipping goods at an estimated value of $2,000, but today, it became $8,000 due to the pandemic conditions,” said Orabi.

Orabi explained that during this period, consumer demand is low, and as for traders, they depend on the goods stored until they are sold out “because they do not know what is going to happen next.” 

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