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Baltic index dips, capesizes hover near 13-year peak

The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index slipped on Monday as a decline in capesize rates offset gains in smaller vessel segments, although the main index held close to a 13-year high.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, fell for a second straight session, by 38 points or 0.7%, to 5,488. The index hit its highest in more than 13 years, at 5,650 points, on Oct. 7.

The capesize index shed 137 points, or 1.4%, to 9,975, but held close to its highest since 2008.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $1,143 to $82,722.

But overall, “dry bulk rates should remain firm as demand growth is expected across all dry bulk commodities, with capesize rates likely to outperform during second half of 2021,” brokerage Jefferies said in a note.

Dalian coking coal scaled a contract high on Monday while coke futures hit a six-week peak, as recent flooding in China’s top coal-producing Shanxi province intensified supply fears.

The panamax index rose 11 points, or 0.3% to 3,877, snapping a losing streak of seven straight sessions.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, increased $99 to $34,893.

The supramax index rose 14 points to 3,431, its highest in over a month.

Source: Reuters

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