Baltic index slips on weaker capesize rates

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index extended declines to a third straight session on Wednesday, as capesize losses offset the rise in panamax vessel rates.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 41 points, or 2.3%, to 1,755.

The capesize index lost 171 points or 6.6%, to 2,415, its lowest in two weeks.
Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, fell $1,421 to $20,029.

Iron ore futures rose for a third consecutive session driven by persisting optimism about additional support to China’s property market, though a softening steel market limited gains in the morning sessions.

The panamax index remained over one-year high. It rose 39 points, or 2%, to 2,008.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes of coal or grain cargoes, gained $353 at $18,075.

Heightened activity in the Atlantic, driven by both mineral inquiries and substantial congestion in the East Coast South America region, has enabled Panamax shipowners to negotiate for higher rates, shipbroker Intermodal wrote in a weekly note dated Tuesday.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index added 15 points or 1.2%, to 1,247, and reached near one-month high.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned that Ukraine’s wheat production may be unable to meet domestic and export demand in the years to come if Black Sea export routes remain blocked and attacks on food infrastructure continue.

Source: Reuters

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