Baltic index posts worst week in more than two months

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The Baltic Exchange’s main dry bulk sea freight index extended declines on Thursday to post its worst week since early January, pressured by weaker rates across all segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell by 24 points, or 1.3%, to 1,821 points, its lowest level since Feb. 22. The index registered its second straight weekly decline.

The capesize index lost 1 point to 2,637 and has slipped over 24% for the week.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $9 to $21,866.

Iron ore futures were mixed for the day, with China’s Dalian contract falling for a third consecutive day, hurt by a slow start to China’s construction season and higher supply from Brazil.

The panamax index, fell 62 points or 3.2%, at 1,879 points. The index logged its biggest weekly fall since Feb. 2.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, fell $557 at $16,913.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index dropped 22 points to 1,331 points.

Meanwhile, the Port of Baltimore remained shut following the collapse of Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday after being struck by a ship.

While the flow of containers to Baltimore can likely be redistributed to bigger ports, there could be major disruptions in shipping cars, coal and sugar.

Source: Reuters