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The VCFI is the index created by the Port Authority of Valencia to reflect the evolution of the market rates for the export of full containers by sea from Valenciaport. VCFI stands for Valencia Containerised Freight Index. This index will serve shippers as a tool to predict the evolution of freight rates within their markets of interest, which is a key determinant of the cost of their export operations. On the other hand, it will also be useful for operators that offer such services, providing a benchmark for the evolution of their own freight rates and those on the market.

VCFI General

VCFI August 2023

The Valencia Containerised Freight Index continues to register a downward trend during the month of August of -6.78% and, with respect to the month of July, standing at 1,211.97 points. Thus, it accumulates a growth of 21.20% since the beginning of the historical series in January 2018. Once again, the fall in the level of freight rates has been a generalised fact, where the fall with respect to the areas of Latin America Pacific (-20.44%), USA and Canada (-14.35%), the Western Mediterranean (-13.20%), the Middle East (-12.19%) and the Eastern Mediterranean (-12.16%) should be highlighted.

Once again, the slowdown in the global economic recovery is a fact to be highlighted, in line with the latest projections made by international reference organisations. In this sense, the demand for international trade, and therefore maritime traffic, has contracted, as shown by the latest data published by the Container Trade Statistics (CTS). The reasons behind this situation lie in several factors such as the increase in energy prices and the rise in interest rates.

To this effect, bunker prices represent a critical element in the analysis of the evolution of shipping prices, due to the considerable impact they have on shipping lines’ operating costs. In relation to this issue, the bunker industry has been facing since April supply cuts implemented by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and more recently, the extension of additional voluntary reductions adopted by Saudi Arabia. Against this backdrop, and with global fuel demand reaching historic levels, any additional price increases, voluntary or otherwise, could put pressure on consumers and pose a threat to economic recovery.

For practical purposes, taking as a reference the price of Brent oil during the month of August, a marked increase of 5.44% is observed, raising its value from $86.15 in July to $90.84 in August. Consequently, over the last year, the price of a barrel of Brent oil has risen by 1.2%.

Along the same lines, in relation to the cost of bunkering (the supply of fuel to ships at sea) in the 20 most important ports in the world, in particular VLSFO (Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil) fuel, has seen an increase of 8.30% compared to July. Specifically, the price has risen from $603.89 in July to $654.02 in August, according to data provided by Ship&Bunker. Although August marks the first increase since March, it is just 1.53% below the VLSFO price in January this year and 20.36% below the August 2022 price.

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VCFI Participating Companies

Sede APV - Edificio III, Avda. del Muelle del Turia, s/n · 46024, Valencia (Spain) · Tel.: +34 96 393 94 00


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