Baltic index sheds over 7% to touch 4-month trough

Capesize-Vessel

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, slid more than 7% to its lowest in over four months on Wednesday as demand languished across all vessel segments.

The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 123 points, or 7.4%, to 1,533, its lowest since July 2.

The capesize index slumped 249 points, or 8.4%, to 2,726, its lowest in more than four months.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $2,395 to $22,217.

“The capesize index is down on lower Brazilian wholesale iron ore exports to China, a key shipping route for the index”, a shipping analyst based in Oslo said.

Shanghai stainless steel futures settled below the 15,000 yuan per tonne level for the fourth straight session on Wednesday as concerns persisted over high inventory and weak demand in top producer China.

The panamax index has weakened due to a seasonal slowdown in grain activity from South America, coupled with a fall in U.S. soybean imports to China due to the ongoing trade tensions, the analyst added.

The panamax index dropped 51 points, or 3.6%, to 1,385, extending its losing streak to a 17th consecutive session.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell $404 to $11,125.

The supramax index shed 48 points to 926 points.

Source: Reuters

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