Baltic index extends losses on lower vessel demand

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell for a third straight session on Thursday, as rates across all vessel segments declined.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels was down 353 points, or 12.4%, at 2,495 – its lowest in more than a week.

The main index more than doubled in November to hit a one-and-a-half-year peak.

The capesize index fell to its lowest level since Nov. 28, falling 958 points, or 18.5%, to 4,203.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, lost $7,946 to $34,854.

“Dry bulk rates remain on a softer trend as charterers have slowed activity levels this week after the surge in volumes in the preceding 2-3 weeks,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a note.

Iron ore futures gained, as market participants reacted to upbeat export figures from China and positive updates from major producers.

The panamax index fell 114 points, or 4.9%, at 2,197.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, was down $1026 to $19,776.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index .BSIS declined 14 points, or 0.9% to 1538.

Source: Reuters

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