Baltic index slips for 5th straight day on weaker vessel rates

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell for the fifth consecutive session on Wednesday dragged by weaker rates across all segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 104 points, or 5.22%, to 1,889, its highest single-day loss since April 23.

The capesize index slipped 232 points, or 7.92%, to 2,699, its lowest level in almost two weeks.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes of iron ore and coal, among others, decreased $1,928 to $22,383.

“The dry bulk market was strong last week fueled by high mineral activity, especially China’s iron ore imports, contrasting with sluggish domestic steel use,” Intermodal Research analyst Chara Georgousi said in a weekly note on Tuesday.

Iron ore prices extended their loss for a second straight session on Wednesday, weighed by expectations of seasonally falling demand in China and the United States raising tariff on some Chinese products.

The panamax index was down 73 points, or about 3.69%, at 1,905.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, fell $658 to $17,141.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index eased 22 points, or 1.49%, to 1,453.

Source: Reuters