Baltic index snaps 4-day winning streak as larger vessel rates fall

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index snapped a four-session winning streak on Thursday, weighed down by lower rates for capesize and panamax vessels as Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, slipped 57 points to 2,187.

The capesize index fell 192 points, or almost 9%, to 2,000.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $1,595 to $16,586.

Ukraine fought Russian forces along practically its entire border with Russia, confirming the worst fears of the West in the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict impacts the cost of shipping through fuel rate hikes, said Peter Sand, chief analyst at Xeneta.

Oil prices leaped on Thursday, with Brent climbing above $105 a barrel since 2014 after Russia’s attack on Ukraine raised concerns about disruptions to global energy supply.

“On top of a lot of other supply chain issues that the global shipping industry is facing at the moment, this is another one,” Sand said.

Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai steel futures lost with construction rebar dropping more than 3%, as government controls on steelmaking raw materials weighed on prices of steel products.

The panamax index eased 10 points to 2,689.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, lost $86 to $24,204.

The supramax index advanced 27 points to 2,415.

Source: Reuters