The continuing shortage of container and vessel space at Chinese main ports has not eased off so far in January, with market participants active in minerals and metals trading continuing to report high costs for shipping, and severe delays.
Sources in contact with Fastmarkets over the week ended Friday January 22 reported shipping quotes for the China to Europe (main port) route at anywhere between $4,000 and $5,000 per 20ft container. This was roughly in line with December rates, but compared with less than $1,000 per container at this time last year.
“You can pay more than that, too. And be prepared for a delay of four to six weeks,” one refractories producer in Europe said.
The China to India route was said to be quoted at $2,300-2,500 per container, while for China to the United States market participants were quoted $7,000-9,000 per container. Costs on both...