Baltic index hits lowest in over 5 weeks as vessel rates dip


The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index hit its lowest in over five weeks on Thursday, dragged down by declining rates across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 67 points, or 3.2%, to 2,061 points.

The capesize index fell 73 points, or 4.9%, to 1,417 points, touching its lowest in seven weeks.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, declined by $602 to $11,753.

“Levels for the big ships dipping further as slow port turnaround/increased congestion remains insufficient to compensate for markedly lower mineral volumes traded compared to same period last year,” Fearnleys wrote in a weekly note on Wednesday regarding the capesize segment.

The panamax index dipped 90 points, or 3.1%, to 2,778 points, hitting its lowest since March 4.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $806 to $25,003.

China’s steel rebar and hot-rolled coils futures dropped as downstream demand remained sluggish amid a fresh wave of COVID-19 cases, while weaker iron ore prices also weighed on sentiment.

The supramax index dropped 58 points to 2,547 points.

Source: Reuters