Baltic index drops to 5-month low as vessel rates fall

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index dropped to its lowest in five months on Wednesday, as rates across vessel segments fell.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell by 295 points, or 9.3%, to 2,892, the lowest level since June 11.

The capesize index fell 461 points, or 12.3%, to 3,275, its weakest since June 10.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $3,825 to $27,162.

“Sentiment has deteriorated with FFAs (forward freight agreements) feeding into physical, while the gradual release in Capesize congestion at Pacific discharge ports is releasing iron ore into stockpiles with the restocking process now in full swing,” shipbroker Intermodal said in a weekly research note dated Tuesday.

Forward freight agreements allow ship owners and contractors to manage freight risk against volatility.

Chinese coking coal futures rose for the first time in six trading sessions on Wednesday, surging more than 14% on big backwardation amid tight supplies, while coke prices also jumped.

The panamax index fell 289 points, or 7.9%, to 3,355, touching its lowest in three months.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, decreased by $2,606 to $30,191.

The supramax index fell 191 points to 2,728, its lowest since June 16.

Source: Reuters

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