Baltic index dips further as demand weakens for larger vessels

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index extended its slide on Monday, hitting a fresh 18-month low, as demand for capesize and panamax vessel segments remained subdued.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 9 points, or 0.7%, to 1,270 points, its lowest level since December 2020.

* The capesize index fell for the third straight session, shedding 9 points, or about 1.2%, to 747 points, its lowest in more than six months.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $68 at $6,199.

* Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures rose, after China cut benchmark lending rates to support its economy but the price rally is expected to be short-lived as demand outlook remains cloudy.

* The panamax index, which has not seen a single day of gains since July 25, lost 43 points, or about 2.55%, at 1,645 points, to hit a more than 1-1/2-year low.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $380 to $14,808.

* Grain traders union UGA cut Ukraine’s 2022 combined grain and oilseeds crop forecast to 64.5 million tonnes from the previous outlook of 69.4 million due to a smaller-than-expected harvested area caused by the Russian invasion.

* The supramax index gained 16 points to 1,751 points, rising for the seventh consecutive session, a more than two-week high.

Source: Reuters