The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index hit its lowest in over five months on Thursday as rates across vessel segments extended their retreat.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, logged its worst daily fall in a fortnight, shedding 62 points, or 3.1%, to 1,945 points, its lowest since Feb. 17.
The capesize index lost 143 points, or 6.1%, to a three-week low of 2,190 points, heading into the fourth straight session of declines.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down by $1,190 at $18,162.
However, global coal demand is set to rise slightly this year to match a record high reached nearly a decade ago, the International Energy Agency said, as gas prices have soared.
The panamax index was down 11 points, or 0.53%, at 2,065 points, the lowest in a week.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased by $99 to $18,581.
Finding enough seafarers willing to sail ships stuck inside Ukraine’s ports is set to pose a major challenge to the proposed grains corridor designed to ease an international food crisis.
The supramax index logged its worst drop in 15 days, losing 35 points to 2,003 points, its lowest since Feb. 9.