Baltic index drops 7%; grim iron ore outlook weighs on capes

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index slipped to its weakest in about three months on Tuesday, as iron ore futures in China declined sharply, weighing on larger capesize vessel rates.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, dropped 241 points, or 7%, to 3,187, the lowest level since July 28.

The capesize index fell 466 points, or 11.1%, to 3,736, its weakest since July 22.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, slid $3,858 to $30,987.

With the current “uninspiring trade flows” of iron ore combined with the “blurred state” of China’s real estate market following the Evergrande situation, “it is hard to see how any sort of stability and positive momentum could be expected to remain,” Allied Shipbroking said in a weekly note on Tuesday, referring to the decline in capesizes.

Benchmark iron ore futures in China dived to its daily trading limit on Tuesday and fell below 600 yuan ($93.75) per tonne for the first time in nearly a year due to loose supply conditions and poor demand outlook.

The panamax index fell 171 points, or 4.5%, to 3,644, touching its lowest in nearly two months.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, decreased by $1,540 to $32,797.

The supramax index fell 123 points to 2,919, its lowest since end-July.

Source: Reuters

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