Baltic index slips to 2-week low on weaker vessel demand

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell to its lowest level in two weeks on Wednesday, as rates slipped across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, dropped 113 points, or 4.4%, at 2,438 – its lowest level since Nov. 28.

The capesize index was down 286 points, or 6.2%, to 4,306.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, declined $2,371 to $35,711.

Iron ore futures retreated as investors became wary of possible downside risks after stimulus announced a day before during an agenda-setting meeting of policymakers in top consumer China undershot expectations.

The panamax index fell to an over three-week low, losing 43 points, or 2.2%, at 1,953.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, lost $391 to $17,577.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was down 17 points, or 1.2% to 1,463.

Source: Reuters

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