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Shipping firm CMA CGM to cut price for French retailers in inflation fight

Shipping firm CMA CGM will lower container shipping rates by about 10% for large retailers in France to support government steps to curb inflation, it said on Thursday.

The group, one of the world’s largest container shipping lines, was singled out this week by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire along with energy giant TotalEnergies as among companies that should use bumper profits to help households cope with high inflation.

CMA CGM will from Aug. 1 reduce shipping rates by 500 euros ($520) per 40-foot container for consumer products imported by major retail chains to mainland France, it said in a statement.

The measure, which will be applied for one year, represented a cut of nearly 10% in shipping rates, CMA CGM said, calling on retail chains to pass on the saving in store prices.

The shipping group also announced a 500-euro cut to 40-foot container rates for all imports to French overseas territories, amounting to a 10-20% rate cut depending on the destination.

Faced with surging inflation, due in part to high energy prices, governments in countries like Britain have announced windfall taxes on oil and gas firms.

France has so far urged companies to take action while leaving the threat of a windfall tax on the table.

TotalEnergies on Thursday said it has increased a summer discount on French fuel prices by 2 cents.

Shipping firms like CMA CGM, which posted a net profit of $17.9 billion for 2021, have benefitted from high freight rates as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains and left shipping capacity stretched.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Tassilo Hummel, editing by Sybille de La Hamaide and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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