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Baltic index falls to fresh multi-year lows on lower capesize rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell to fresh multi-year lows on Tuesday, weighed down by weaker demand for capesize vessels.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was down 25 points, or about 2.6%, at 921, lowest since early June 2020.

The capesize index lost 71 points, or about 5.4%, to 1,240, nearly a two-month low.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $587 at $10,287.

The first quarter of every year is affected by the seasonal contraction due to the Chinese New Year, however, there several factors at play including the global economic uncertainty that looms over the sector, wrote ship broker Allied in a weekly market report.

Dalian iron ore futures slipped after top steel producer China’s economic growth in 2022 slumped to one of its worst levels in nearly half a century.

The panamax index was up 7 points, or about 0.7%, at 1,078.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose by $63 to $9,699.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index (.BSIS) fell for the 18th consecutive session by 12 points to 661.

Source: Reuters

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