Baltic index steady as gains in capesize offset lower rates for smaller vessels

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, was mostly unchanged on Tuesday as gains in capesize countered weakness in smaller vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, edged higher to 1,685.

The capesize index gained 20 points, or about 1%, to 2,100.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes of iron ore and coal, among others, increased $162 to $17,415.

Iron ore and steel futures fell amid risk-off sentiment ahead of a Chinese public holiday, but most contracts posted monthly gains on the back of better demand outlook from the property sector.

The panamax index was down by 13 points, or 0.7%, to 1,845, marking its lowest level since April 17.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, lost $111 to $16,608.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index edged lower by 7 points to 1,485.

Source: Reuters