Baltic index hits two-week low as larger vessel rates slide

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index extended declines on Thursday to hit its lowest level in more than two weeks as rates for the capesize and panamax vessel segments retreated.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 44 points, or 1.9%, to 2,240 points, its lowest level since March 6.

The capesize index lost 102 points, or 2.8%, at 3,588.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $849 to $29,752.

Iron ore futures rose, helped by renewed expectations of further monetary policy easing in top consumer China and improved profitability among certain steelmakers.

The panamax index was down by 47 points or 2.1%, at 2,204 points.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, rose $426 at $19,834.

The panamax market has seen divided opinions recently,” shipbroker Fearnleys wrote in a weekly note on Wednesday.

Despite a subdued start to the week, positive sentiment persists, supported by stable fundamentals across both Atlantic and Asian regions, suggesting potential for future gains,” the note added.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose by 9 points to 1,379 points.

Meanwhile, two tankers containing oil and toxic waste are stuck in the Red Sea in the firing line between Western naval forces and Yemen’s Houthi militants despite repeated efforts by the United Nations to empty and move the ships to avoid a spill.

Source: Reuters