Thursday, July 29, 2021

Current Market and Freight Situation

Current Market and Freight Situation

Current Market

June 2021 has been a continued month of elevated demand. It appears many manufacturers in New Zealand are doing well, picking up new clients and building record quantities of products. We have seen elevated demand for many commodity items such as resistors at nearly double the typical monthly usage.

Prices have stabilised at an elevated level for electromechanical products, due to the copper price receding slightly. However other key metals such as tin and lead are still at elevated prices. There are severe shortages for some items, particularly ICs, crystals and relays. The prices and lead times for these items are still blowing out to ever more absurd numbers, creating an industry-wide search for shortage fulfillment to avoid production halts.

Global Economic Outlook Improving

  • Significant improvement in forecasts since Q4 2020
  • Regional variation high
  • COVID 19 risks remain high

Freight Situation

Shipping is still in a dire situation. We have had cases where goods have been stuck in ports for more than a month before loading due to a shortage of shipping capacity. Trans-Pacific shipping rates are at all-time record highs due to the shortage in shipping places and pandemic-related disruptions. We don’t see any easing of this situation in the coming months.

Current Conditions (Source: Mondiale VGL)

Charter Update

Containership Visits Auckland and Tauranga

Following on from the increased demand when comparing the ship visits for both Auckland and Tauranga ports, VGL sees a trend in Q4 2020 with reductions in ship visits. This data comes from the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and they are waiting for Q1 data to be released, which they expect imminently.

The reduction in ship visits is down to blank sailings and decreased rotations largely attributed to the port congestion issues reported in the media and previous client notifications. This trend is mirrored in the other ports throughout the country.

Yantian Update

Operations in Yantian have largely returned to normal after the Covid-19 staff restrictions, but the congestion shifted largely to the nearby port of Hong Kong and affected other ports in Asia, as ships and cargo volumes were diverted.

Yard density - the amount of available storage space currently occupied by cargo - at the facility is down to 65% and waiting times for inbound vessels are now measured in hours not days as was up to 16 days at the height of the congestion last month.

Maersk advised its data showed wait times of 4 days at Guangzhou ports Nansha terminal, where yard density was at 78%; 3.5 days at Shenzhen’s Shekou terminals, where yard density has reached 100% and 3 days at Hong Kong where yard density is at 93%.

In order to alleviate these concerns, we recommend customers stay in touch with our sales team on a regular basis for updates and to place demand as early as possible. Lead time are still increasing for many products, so the sooner we can place orders with manufacturers, the better we are placed to fulfil demand on time.