Baltic index hits more than one-week low on weaker vessel rates

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index that tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities slipped to a more than one-week low on Tuesday, pressured by weaker demand across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, dipped 73 points, or 3.53%, to 1,993, its lowest level since May 3.

The capesize index slipped 177 points, or 5.69%, to 2,931.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes of iron ore and coal, among others, decreased $1,462 to $24,311.

The panamax index was down 39 points, or about 1.93%, at 1,978 for the second consecutive session.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, lost $358 to $17,799.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index eased 10 points, or 0.67%, to 1,475.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled a bundle of steep tariff increases on an array of Chinese imports, including electric vehicles, computer chips and medical products.

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are unlikely to significantly affect dry bulk shipping, but China’s potential retaliation targeting U.S. grain exports could have a more substantial impact,” Filipe Gouveia, a shipping analyst at BIMCO told Reuters.

Source: Reuters