Baltic index extends slide but higher panamax rates stem losses

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index slipped for the eighth straight session to a four-month low on Wednesday, but a recovery in panamax vessel rates capped losses.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, lost 16 points, or 1.2%, to 1,308, logging its smallest percentage fall of the last eight sessions.

The capesize index dropped by 46 points, or 2.6%, to 1,733, also logging its eighth straight decline to its weakest level since mid-September.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $378 to $14,375.

India’s government has turned down a request from state-owned iron ore miner NMDC Ltd to export its ore to China, the world’s largest iron ore consumer, three sources with direct knowledge said.

Bucking the trend for the third straight session, the panamax index was up 25 points, or 1.8%, to 1,446, marking its best session since Dec. 4.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000 to 70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, rose by $228 to $13,014.

Ukraine has exported 2.5 million metric tons of grain so far this month, agriculture ministry data showed.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was down 21 points to 1,039, extending its losing streak for the 25th session.

Maersk CEO Vincent Clerc said the disruption to global shipping caused by the attacks on vessels in the Red Sea will probably last at least a few months.

Source: Reuters