Baltic index hits three-week low as capesize rates weigh

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index hit a three-week low on Monday, mainly weighed down by a decline in rates for bigger capesize shipping vessels.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, and supramax shipping vessels, was down 60 points, or 2.6%, at 2,288. The index shed 22% last week, its worst in six.

The capesize index was down 177 points, or 4.3%, at 3,936, also hitting a three-week low.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes of iron ore and coal, decreased $1,468 to $32,639.

Iron ore futures extended losses, as some investors unwound long positions amid persistently weak data and fading hopes for more stimulus in top consumer China.

Bucking the trend, the panamax index was up 6 points, or 0.3%, at 1,906, logging its first rise in two weeks.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry about 60,000 to 70,000 tons of coal or grain cargoes, increased $59 to $17,155.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was down 7 points, or 0.5%, at 1,419, extending its losing streak for the ninth session.

Meanwhile, shipping stocks kept rising across Europe with mounting attacks by the Iran-aligned Yemeni Houthi militant group on ships in the Red Sea disrupting maritime trade as leading global freight firms reroute around the Cape of Good Hope to avoid the Suez Canal.

Source: Reuters

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