U.S. and China expect meeting while shipping rates plummet

U.S. and China expect meeting while shipping rates plummet

U.S. and China expect meeting while shipping rates plummet

President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to hold a virtual meeting before year's end, according to the White House as reported by the Associated Press.

The agreement in principle to hold the meeting was disclosed after a meeting lasting six hours in Zurich between White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan and senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi.

A senior administration official who was not authorized to comment publicly and thus spoke anonymously, said the details of the meeting are still being worked out, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai stated earlier this week she would soon hold direct talks with her Chinese counterpart.

Talks of a meeting come amid plunging spot freight rates between China and the U.S. with prices dropping by up to 51 percent on some routes, according to NikkeiAsia.

The price drop is mainly caused by the imminent off-season and a reduction in manufacturing due to China's ongoing power crunch, an analyst said.

An executive with a Shanghai freight company said that the cost of shipping a 40-foot container from China to the U.S. West Coast dropped nearly half, going from about US$17,000 to just over $8,000.

The spot rate for shipping to the East Coast had fallen by more than one-quarter in one month, from around $20,000 to $14,000.

Experts are split on how shipping rates will develop in the near future as U.S. ports stay congested but it's expected that export growth will slow in the fourth quarter, NikkeiAsia reported.

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