Baltic index hits one-week low on capesize weakness

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index extended declines on Tuesday and touched its lowest level in a week, hurt by a slide in capesize vessel rates.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell by 78 points, or 4.1%, to 1,804 points, its lowest level since April 16.

The capesize index shed 244 points, or about 9%, to 2,458, marking its worst day since April 2.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $2,021 to $20,389.

Iron ore futures prices fell for a second straight session to their lowest level in nearly one week on signs of softening in the steel market due to subdued demand in top consumer China.

The panamax index declined by 14 points, or 0.7%, at 1,914 points.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, lost $126 to $17,222.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was up by 20 points, or 1.4%, to 1,430 points.

Meanwhile, global crude steel production fell 4.3% in March from a year earlier to 161.2 million metric tons, World Steel Association data showed.

Source: Reuters