Lower capesize, panamax rates weigh on Baltic index

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell for a fourth straight session on Wednesday, pressured by losses in the larger capesize and panamax vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels carrying dry bulk commodities, fell 43 points, or 3.6% to 1,151.

The capesize index fell 97 points, or 6.6%, to 1,364, its lowest since June 5.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, fell $802 to $11,315.

Meanwhile, iron ore futures extended gains, with prices in China surging more than 5%, as optimism grew about demand prospects in the world’s top steel producer driven partly by supportive policy measures.

The panamax index slipped 42 points, or 2.8% to 1,474.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes of coal or grain cargo, fell $384 to $13,263.

A backlog of vessels waiting to pass the Panama Canal due to drought-related restrictions has been eased in recent days after the waterway’s authority allowed more non-booked ships to pass, and others are choosing alternate routes to avoid delays.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 1 point to 910.

Source: Reuters

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