Baltic index hits a month’s low on weaker demand

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell to its lowest level in a month on Thursday as lower demand weighed, with the panamax index declining for a ninth consecutive session.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels that carry dry bulk commodities, dropped 66 points, or 2.1%, to 3,073, the lowest since June 15.

The panamax index dropped 140 points, or 3.6%, to 3,708, the weakest level in nearly three weeks. The index posted its biggest one-day percentage fall since April 12.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, dropped by $1,260 to $33,370.

“In general, it would appear that there is simply less demand in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins at the moment,” shipbroker Fearnleys stated in its weekly report on Wednesday.

“The slight flow of fresh requirements in the North Atlantic is also seeing competition from larger vessels cutting size.”

The capesize index fell 52 points, or 1.5%, to 3,460, the lowest since July 6.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes of iron ore, dropped by $434 to $28,694.

The supramax index fell 34 points to 2,799.

Source: Reuters