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

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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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