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Chinese New Year Arrives Without Pre-Closure Surge

The Lunar New Year has come to pass (Sunday, January 23) without the usual surge in volumes traditionally seen before the holiday. Many factories in Asia will be closed throughout the week, and while TPEB import volumes are typically slow to recover after their return, manufacturers are reporting unusually low orders for the foreseeable future. Ocean liners continue to remove capacity from trade lanes through blank sailings, however, they have been unable to keep up with falling demand. With US consumer spending lessening, inventories over-stocked domestically, and new container vessels finishing production this year, importers may see rates remain in favorable territory for most of Q1 and Q2.