Multi-week lows across vessel segments drag Baltic index to 12-week low

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, hit a near 12-week low on Tuesday, with all three of its component indexes hitting multi-month lows.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 61 points, or over 2.8%, to 2,098 points, its lowest since April 13.

The capesize index slipped 144 points, or nearly 6.5%, to 2,084 points, its lowest in more than 10 weeks.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $1,198 to $17,283.

Meanwhile, Dalian iron ore futures rose on Tuesday with the market gaining for the first time in four sessions on expectations of lower U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, although fears of a global recession capped gains.

The panamax index fell for the 11th consecutive session, shedding 28 points, or over 1.1%, to a 19-week low of 2,441 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $254 to $21,965.

However, the world’s biggest cotton producer India on Tuesday extended a deadline for duty free imports of the fibre until Oct. 31 from the earlier cut-off date of Sept. 30, as the sowing of the fibre crop was delayed in some regions due to patchy monsoon rainfall.

The supramax index fell 17 points to its lowest in 20 weeks to 2,265 points, extending a losing streak since June 23.

Falls in the smaller segments of panamax and supramax vessels were attributed to low levels of demand and piling tonnage availability by Thomas Chasapis, analyst at Allied Shipping Research, in a note dated Monday.

Source: Reuters