Baltic index logs worst day in five weeks on tepid demand for larger vessels


The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, extended losses on Wednesday and marked its biggest one-day fall since mid-February due to weaker demand for larger vessels.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 56 points, or about 3.7%, to 1,456, its biggest daily percentage fall since Feb. 15.

The capesize index was down 129 points, or about 6.7%, at 1,752.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $1,073 to $14,528.

Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures extended losses on Wednesday, with demand prospects temporarily weighed down by China’s consideration to cut its crude steel output by around 2.5%.

The panamax index fell 52 points, or about 3.1%, to 1,606, its biggest one-day dip since Feb. 7.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $465 to $14,454.

Despite some weakness, “fundamentals for both sizes remain in a good shape assuming that activity took a short break before resuming a positive track as the Q2 launch”, shipbroker Intermodal wrote in a weekly report, referring to Capesize and Panamax segments.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 2 points, to 1,337.

Source: Reuters


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