Baltic index slips as capesize losses outweigh panamax gains

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index declined on Thursday, as a fall in capesize rates overshadowed gains in the panamax segment.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, lost 20 points, or 0.8%, to 2,350 points.

The capesize index was down by 147 points, or 3.5%, to 4,042, its lowest level in a week.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $1,216 to $33,521.

Iron ore futures prices languished with lingering concerns over demand in top consumer China acting as a headwind, despite Beijing’s latest pledge of equipment upgrades that capped some losses earlier in the session.

The panamax index gained 90 points, or 4.4%, to 2,133 points, its highest level since Dec. 7.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, were up $812 at $19,197.

The panamax market has seen a significant increase, mainly in the Atlantic due to a shortage of ships and strong demand, primarily from the North Atlantic and East Coast South America (ECSA), driving rates up,” shipbroker Fearnleys wrote in weekly note on Wednesday.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index, was up by 13 points to 1,314 points.

Source: Reuters