The Drewry World Container Index (WCI) declined by 0.2% for the week ended 30 September to $10,360.87 per feu, remaining some 291.8% higher than a year earlier. The marginal drop in average follows a flat index week earlier, which marked a stabilisation after 22 weeks of consecutive increases.
The overall week-on-week decrease was driven by the transpacific trade with Shanghai – Los Angeles down 2% at $12,172 per feu, which remains up 198% year-on-year. The backhaul LA – Shanghai saw a 1% decrease last week to $1,383 per feu.
Spot rates on Asia – North Europe rose through with Shanghai – Rotterdam up 1% at $14,558 per feu, with rates up 535% year-on-year.
“Drewry expects rates to remain steady in the coming week,” the analyst said.
The stabilising of spot rates coincided with CMA CGM’s announcement that it would be freezing spot increases until 1 February next year.
The change in approach was noted by Xenata CEO Patrik Berglund. “However, with rates already so high there’ll no doubt be many shippers viewing this as ‘crumbs from the rich man’s table’… and let’s see if any freezes do take hold within the broader carrier community,” he commented.
While container spot rates may finally be showing some stability Xenata said the impact on long-term rates continues to be felt with another 3.2% rise in September taking year-to-date increases to 91.5%.
Xenata little evidence that the fundamentals are weakening and expect rates to remain strong.
“This year has seen a unique convergence of Covid-19 disruption, port congestion, strong demand, and maxed-out capacity, and that has stoked the flames of record-breaking rates,” explained Berglund.
Xenata noted that with the market strongly in their favour, lines were looking to lock in customers in long-term bookings with some even offering multi-year deals with guaranteed shipments.
“Shippers are treading carefully in this regard, but there is some appetite for longer-term commitment – raising the question of whether both parties might look beyond the traditional tender?” Berglund said.
It was noted that long-term contracts already account for 60% of Maersk’s bookings.
Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusalami, Osinbajo, Atiku, others to spend N13.8billon from N27.5 trillion 2024 budget
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Federal government has earmarked the sum of N13.8 billion in the 2024 budget as the cost of upkeep of
former presidents, vice presidents, heads of state, Chiefs of General Staff, retired heads of service, permanent secretaries, and retired heads of government agencies and parastatals.
The beneficiaries include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, ex-vice-presidents Atiku Abubakar, Namadi Sambo and Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Also expected to benefit from the windfall are ex-military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdusalami Abubakar, as well as a former dictator and self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.).
Also, N1tn was provisioned for the public service wage adjustment for government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (including arrears of promotion and salary increases, and payment of severance benefits and minimum wage-related adjustments).
A breakdown shows that the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice presidents/chief of general staff will cost N2.3bn. At the same time, N10.5bn is proposed as benefits for retired heads of service, permanent secretaries and professors.
The payment of severance benefits to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals is proposed to cost N1bn.
Other allocations include N65bn for the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the reintegration of transformed ex-militants; N1bn for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Energy; and N108bn for unnamed special projects.
The government is also proposing the sum of N40bn to offset electricity debts owed to power distribution companies by all MDAs.
President Bola Tinubu unveiled the N27.5 trillion budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year.
The budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, where it is currently undergoing scrutiny and deliberation for final approval.
In his presentation, he declared, “The 2024 Appropriation has been themed the Budget of Renewed Hope.
The proposed budget seeks to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
News Alert: Wale Adeniyi revives CG conference, holds 2023 edition December 13-15 in Lagos.
Ukraine blocks Russia’s reelection bid at IMO council elections
The outcome is another blow for Russia after it failed in its bid to return to the UN’s top human rights body in October, in an election seen as a key test of Western efforts to keep Moscow isolated.
Last year, Moscow also failed to win enough votes for re-election to the UN aviation agency’s governing council.
The London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) is responsible for regulating the safety and security of international shipping and preventing pollution and comprises 175 member state countries.
Russia has been a member since 1958 and has been consistently re-elected to the IMO Council.
With voting on Friday, 40 countries were elected by secret ballot to the IMO Council, which supervises the work of the body.
In October, Russia said the IMO was departing from its impartial role due to “external pressure” which it said was impacting the fair treatment of all member countries.
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