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New Zealand exporters may be faced with higher freight rates. Indications point to shipping rates trending up around the world. China’s container shipping freight rates have risen while major shipping lines are said to be hiking their rates.

China’s container shipping freight rates have risen 17% this year, approaching 2008 highs, as global trade continues to recover from depressed levels in 2009, according to Reuters, citing information from the China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI), which takes data from most of the leading liners with operations in China. The CCFI hit 1,168.31 points for the week ended Feb 26, according the news agency, quoting information from the Shanghai Shipping Exchange. Started in 1998, the index reached a high of 1,255 points in October 2004.

In the US, the Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (WTSA), which represents the interest of a group of shipping lines, said its members are “recommending” a general increase in dry cargo rates for US to Asia of $300 per 40-foot container (FEU) and $240 per 20-foot container (TEU), effective April 1.

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