Baltic index slides to 6-month low as vessel rates falter

FILE PHOTO: Cargo ships navigate the Panama Canal during an organized media tour by Italy's Salini Impregilo, one of the main sub contractors of the Panama Canal Expansion project, on the outskirts of Colon city, Panama May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File Photo

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index dropped to its lowest since February on Wednesday, extending its decline to the eighth day, on lower demand across vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 86 points, or 4.7%, to 1,731 points.

The capesize index dropped 181 points, or 9.2%, to its lowest since April 21, at 1,790 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $1,505 to $14,842.

“A 22.8% decline was reported during the past five days for the Capesize sector as both the Atlantic and the Pacific region faced limited requirements against a built-up of open tonnage,” shipbroker Intermodal said in a weekly note dated Tuesday.

Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures fell on Wednesday as a crisis engulfing property developers in China, the world’s top steel producer, outweighed improving margins at mills.

The panamax index was down 21 points to 2,005 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $188 to $18,047.

The supramax index fell 61 points to 1,805 points.

Source: Reuters