Baltic index inches lower on weak supramax demand

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index dipped on Thursday as declines in the supramax vessel rates outweighed gains in capesize and panamax segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels carrying dry bulk commodities, was down 4 points, or about 0.3%, at 1,403.

The supramax index shed 48 points, or about 3.7%, to 1,237, its biggest daily percentage fall since Jan. 13.

While, the capesize index rose 14 points, or about 0.8%, to 1,676.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as coal and steel-making ingredient iron ore, increased $113 to $13,901.

Dalian iron ore futures eyed their fourth straight session of gain, supported by the prospects of a demand recovery after steel consumption was temporarily capped by rainy weather in many regions last week.

The panamax index scaled its highest in over a week, gaining 27 points, or about 1.7%.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased $236 to $14,622.

“Increased demand from the Japanese steel sector could, however, be key to further freight rate recovery in the coming quarters, particularly for the capesize and panamax segments,” said Filipe Gouveia, shipping analyst at BIMCO.

Source: Reuters

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