(20.1.17) There are positive signs from most of the New ConTex groups and the Index reflects this by improving by 2 points and ending week 03 with 298.

Especially the 1700 and 2500 TEU segments moved upwards by more than 1% fuelled by good demand for this time of the year. The number of fixtures is encouraging in combination with a lot of charter vessels being sold for demolition. The Charterers had less choice for their TC requirements and the agreed TC periods have become less flexible.

Surprisingly for some, even the Panamax group has gone above the USD 4,200 mark basis a 12-month employment. Let's remember that in November and December some Panamax Charters were agreed at only USD 3,900.

The Lunar New Year holidays will dampen the Chartering activities in Asia for about two weeks, but expectations are that thereafter the container market should improve further. 2016 demolition of containership capacity should have reached around 670,000 TEU (nearly 200 vessels), if the demo activity remains on this high level during 2017, the supply/demand ration will be much healthier for most containership segments and charter levels will improve accordingly.

(13.1.2017) It is human nature to find cause for optimism, and the new year brings with it fresh hopes for a recovery in container shipping although the market remains fundamentally imbalanced. As a matter of fact the New ConTex is again improving in all segments this week although overall it is down 11,4 % on year on year, the container market continues to suffer from excess capacity, with the weakness expected to persist for at least one more yea.

The global containership fleet grew by only 1.5% to reach 20.27 Mteu at the end of 2016, the lowest annual growth rate ever recorded in the industry’s history. The low growth rate was driven by the record number of ships scrapped, with a total of 192 containership for 654,900 teu demolished in 2016. The total capacity of containerships deleted reached 200 units for 664,300 teu after adding a handful of de-celled ships and two casualties. We can only hope this tiny recovery of our market will last and the market continues to improve,

(6.1.2017) The new year started on a positive note for the New ConTex with almost all segments increasing on their pre-Christmas figures.

Positive expectations seem to be driven by the record scrapping of container ships in 2016. The 2500 TEU and 4250 TEU categories registered some of the largest numbers of ships scrapped as well as the highest (albeit still modest) rate increases over the last two weeks.

Economic parameters for 2017 appear cautiously positive with slightly higher expected global GDP of around 3,5% than 2016. The ratio of trade to GDP growth has over the last couple of years however decreased and several protectionist movements around the globe bear downside risks to global trade.

Any recovery in charter rates, due to moderate fleet growth in the New ConTex sizes and continously high expected scrapping, could potentially though be hampered by the nowadays common extremly flexible periods.

(23.12.16) The last week of New ConTex of the year 2016 did not show any (positive) surprises at all. Though it would have been desirable to see at least for some classes some improving rate figures, the parameters are not showing any room these days for a positive rate development.

As such the slightly descending trend, which has been lasting now since beginning of the year, also remains intact during the last week.

In detail: this week ended 2 points lower than the last week with an index level of 293 points. Levels like this we have seen so far only once – that used to be back in March 2010. It is worthwhile to mention that back then we have seen a charter hire level for the 1100 TEU ships, which is equal to today’s 12 months evaluation for the 4250 TEU PanMax-Segment. In order to have a memory of the full picture, back in early 2010, the 24 months evaluation of the 4250 TEU ships read about USD 13,800,-, i.e. more than twice the current amount. Amongst others a lot of things changed within the last six and a half years: one change is the amplitude of all the classes which went down from about USD 9,500,- from the biggest to the smallest class to today’s difference of USD 2,745,- only.

Stay strong and Merry Christmas!

(2.12.16) The New ConTex dropped a further point this week and is now down about 15 pct compared to the same time last year. Regretfully the overhang of large idle tonnage is much higher compared to last December.

The charter market remains weak in all segments with only limited business opportunities and the majority for shorter periods. Activity in the 4,250 TEU segment has been marginally increasing however without any positive influence on the charter rates.

Following a large number of demolitions the index moved slightly upwards for the craned 2,500 TEU segment and the market East of Suez appear short of tonnage with a potential firming in charter rates possible. The gearless 2,700 TEU segment may face a similar scenario whereas new demand is lacking for the feeders between 1,100 and 1,700 TEU.

Please find below today's New ConTex charter rate assessment, based on periods of 12 months:

Type 1100 GRD: USD 6.146 (-26)
Type 1700 GRD: USD 6.508 (-24)
Type 2500 GRD: USD 5.592 (5)
Type 2700 GLS: USD 5.998 (1)
Type 3500 GLS: USD 5.361 (-19)
Type 4250 GLS: USD 4.233 (-11)

(18.11.16) This week was once again a representative depiction of a rather weak charter market. Namely, marginally worse or worse. We are in the middle of November getting closer to Christmas and New Year (two traditionally quiet periods) and in terms of market activity it still feels like August. For most of the charterers 2016 is over and they are now focusing on the new challenges that 2017 will bring. This means less new fixtures (with flexible or very short periods) and some extensions. This, in turn, is reflected in the daily rates of this week's New ConTex. All segments appear to perform poorly. With the exception of 1100 TEU and 4250 TEU vessels the decrease in the other segments is marginal. The -1.6% change for the 4250 TEU vessels is no surprise as the oversupply is still evident, regardless some confirmed lay ups and demolitions. But the -2% change for 1100 TEU vessels might be an indication of oversupply building up for this traditionally strong sector. And the fact that we are in the last weeks of 2016 with an evidently weak demand does not help to build up a well needed sense of optimism. For what it's worth, the 2700 TEU segment is fighting hard (but quite successfully) to maintain the rates with still a 6 in front (or low 6s depending on the design). But based on the very low rates that bigger vessels are earning should one fear that the Lines will decide to upsize from 2700 to bigger (in some cases more modern) and cheaper Panamaxes. Only time will tell. However, one could guess that the oversupply of bigger and cheaper tonnage could in some cases affect the very few relatively decent earning segments. Hence, a weaker New ConTex.          

(11.11.16) The Eisbein week has passed, but unfortunately the fixing activity did not really increase. There is hardly any new business available within the various segments. The fixtures being done are mainly related to the present standard procedure of the Charterers, i.e. tendering redelivery notices. Same can be tendered by Charterers at any time thanks to the very flexible periods and short notices Owners have to "swallow" all the time. After tendering the notice Owners are being given the chance to extend for another flexible period at even lower money.
All in all it must be a paradise for Charterers respectively their Chartering departments as they are receiving all the flexibility they could wish for and take advantage of the continuously decreasing market. Owners would hope that Charterers will finally start not to only concentrate on cutting costs (internal+external) but on increasing their income. Despite the ongoing scrapping activity it seems however that the charter market will remain for some more time a self-service outlet for Charterers.
This is also reflected in this week New ConTex with a negative change throughout all size segments. The biggest 'losers' have of course been the heavily oversupplied segment of the Baby Panamaxes with -0.9% and the cooling down of the smaller 1,100TEU segment by -0.8%. Only the 2,700TEU segment with -0.2% and the 3,500TEU segment with -0.3% could almost defend their last weeks numbers. The big question remains on how low the market can get and at what level it simply does not make sense any more for the competing Owners and banks to run their vessels

(4.11.2016) Having seen a more quiet week due to the celebration of the annual "Eisbeinessen" in Hamburg the negative trend of the New ConTex continues being further down by 1 point this week ending at 304 points.

All segments are showing a small minus on WoW basis (max. 1,1% for the 4250 TEU for 12 mos) and and little larger minus on a MoM basis (max. 5,5% again for the 4250 TEU for 12 mos), but some bigger losses of 20-30% in most of the segments on YoY basis (except only minus 7,3% for the 1100 TEU size for 12 mos).

Having seen lately a larger number of fairly modern containerships being scheduled for scrapping the consolidation pressure both on Owners and Charterers remain high. On the linerside being confirmed by the latest merger of the 3 japanese lines MOL, “K” Line and NYK who announced that same to be established as from July 2017 with commencement scheduled for April 2018. The combined fleets will then become the sixth largest line worldwide. We believe that the consolidation pressure both on Owners as well as on the Charterers side will remain high under the ongoing depressed container markets and it cannot be excluded that we may see further mergers on either side in the future.

Usually this time of the year the slack period starts, but we do not expect bigger changes in either direction in the near future with possibly only a continuation of the slow downward, respectively a sideward trend.

(21.10.2016) The container market continues its slow steady decline, with the New ConTex Index losing another point to stand at 308. The psychological 300 points mark is getting uncomfortably close. With the slack season approaching and with Owners seemingly prepared to keep fixing at levels slightly below last-done, it seems almost inevitable the index will slide below the 300 mark before the end of the year.

However an assessment of the movements recorded in the last week are not entirely gloomy. Slight upward adjustments were noted for the 2700 TEUs and 3500 TEUs (basis 12 months) and very slight upward adjustments were apparent for 2700 TEUs and 4250 TEUs (basis 24 months).

It has to be stated, though, that the trend remains down for the market as a whole. Either global trade will have to rise sharply (unfortunately rather unlikely at the moment) or scrapping/laying-up will have to move up several gears if there is to be any noticeable change to the predicament in which this industry finds itself.

(7.10.2016) The New ConTex keeps slipping slowly. While this week it lost two points (equivalent to 0.6 %), in a month-on-month comparison the index dropped by 1.9%. Within the last twelve months it gave in by 28.6%.

To make a positive note, the vessel types with 2,700 and 3,500 TEU marked a marginal increase for the 12 months period this week. The index rate for 2,700 TEU vessels rose by $12. The 3,500 TEU vessel´s ConTex indication could even climb by $51. In the month-on-month comparison the 2,700 and 3,500 TEU type scored positive results as well.

Nevertheless, the remainder of this week´s ConTex evaluation indicates no increment of charter rates. Increasing demolition activity in the container segment could be observed portending the market to be working towards a balance, even though there may still be quite some way to go.