Baltic index drops to 1-month low on subdued vessel enquiries

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index fell to its lowest level in a month, as rates declined across all its vessel segments, with capesizes touching their lowest in six months.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, dropped 167 points, or 6.3%, to 2,498, its lowest since Nov. 18.

The capesize index lost 378 points, or 11.6%, to its lowest since June at 2,894.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $3,134 to $24,003.

“Although still fetching relatively healthy levels, the big ships take a massive beating prior Christmas – following a pattern seen so many years before,” shipbroker Fearnleys said in a weekly note dated Wednesday, in reference to capesizes.

Chinese steelmaking raw materials futures advanced, with coking coal up 5%, fuelled by hopes of recovering steel production after stringent curbs in the first 11 months of the year.

The panamax index shed 118 points, or 4.3%, to its lowest in almost three weeks at 2,626.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which carry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, decreased by $1,063 to $23,630.

The supramax index fell 28 points to 2,514, its lowest level in over a week.

Source: Reuters

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