Baltic index falls as larger vessel rates slip

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Tuesday, weighed by weakness in the capesize and panamax segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, lost 30 points, or about 2%, to 1,512 – its lowest since March 13.

The capesize index was down 64 points, or about 3.3%, to 1,881.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased $533 to $15,601.

Dalian iron ore futures extended losses on Tuesday as traders weighed the prospects of further government intervention in the market following the latest warning from China on speculative activity and ongoing production curbs in major steel cities.

The panamax index fell 39 points, or about 2.3%, to 1,658 – its biggest one-day fall since Feb. 7.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $351 to $14,919.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 6 points, to 1,335.

“In contrast to the larger size segments, Supramax earnings rose each day, albeit with little enthusiasm by Friday. With positive news of access to Ukrainian grains, the Black Sea to China-South Korea route saw steady day-on-day increases,” shipbroker Allied wrote in a weekly report.

Source: Reuters

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