Baltic sea freight index posts first monthly fall since January


The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, posted its first monthly drop since January on Thursday due to weakness across vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, rose 54 points, or nearly 2.5%, to 2,240 points. But the index registered an about 12.7% decline for the month, and 5% for the quarter.

The capesize index rose 234 points, or about 10.6%, to 2,434 points, but fell 8.8% for the month. The index still notched up a 38.3% quarterly gain.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $1,942 to $20,190.

Indonesian coal exports in January-May rose 20.27% to 167 million tonnes from a year ago, an energy ministry official said, citing additional demand as the Ukraine crisis prompted more countries to switch to coal.

Meanwhile, Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures fell on Thursday and were on track to post quarterly losses due to persistent demand worries for the steel-making ingredient in top steel producer China.

The panamax index was down 25 points, or 1%, at 2,485 points, registering its third consecutive monthly drop of 13.5%, bringing it down 20.9% for the quarter.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased by $220 to $22,369.

The supramax index fell 53 points to 2,306 points, down 15.9% for the month.

Source: Reuters



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