Baltic index hits near one-month low as rates drop for all segments

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index dropped to a one-month low on Tuesday, dragged down by weakness across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell by 134 points, or 6.3%, to 1,989 points, its lowest level since Feb. 27.

The capesize index lost 331 points, or 10.1%, at 2,964, down for the sixth straight session.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $2,745 to $24,580.

Iron ore futures prices fell, amid mounting risk-off sentiment as fundamentals of the key steelmaking ingredient remained unfavourable and as downstream steel consumption in top consumer China disappointed the market.

The panamax index, fell by 76 points or 3.6%, at 2,044 points, hitting it lowest level in two weeks.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, fell $690 at $18,392.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index edged down to 1,375 points.

Meanwhile, a 948-foot container ship smashed into a four-lane bridge in the U.S. port of Baltimore in darkness early on Tuesday, causing it to collapse and sending cars and people plunging into the river below.

Source: Reuters