Baltic index slips on weaker panamax, supramax rates

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Thursday, pressured by lower rates for panamax and supramax vessels.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, lost 13 points, or 0.8%, at 1,545, its lowest in more than a week.

The panamax index lost 26 points, or 1.7%, to hit its lowest in more than two months at 1,514.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $232 to $13,630.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 18 points to 1,105.

“During this month, China (and India) are expected to increase coal purchases, which could be a bullish driver,” shipbroker Fearnleys wrote in a weekly report, referring to the supramax index.

The capesize index was unchanged at 2,325.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, firmed at $19,283.

Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures hit five-month lows, following a more than 10% drop in the past month, with the weaker-than-expected China factory activity data and gloomy near-term downstream demand outlook weighing on sentiment.

Source: Reuters

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