Weaker capesize rates push Baltic index lower

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell and snapped a three-session winning streak on Wednesday, weighed down by lower capesize rates.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, lost 29 points or 1.9% to 1,530.

“Market sentiment within the dry bulk sector is characterized by cautiousness as the year draws to a close, with mixed indicators compounded by faltering spot rates signaling a potential weakening in performance,” shipbroker Intermodal wrote in a weekly note dated Tuesday.

The capesize index fell 109 points or 4.5% to 2,318.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, was down $904 to $19,222.

Iron ore prices recovered over a sentiment boost following a speech by China’s central bank governor on support for the country’s property market, the biggest steel consuming sector.

The panamax index rose 17 points or 1.2% to 1,470, rising fora second consecutive session.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes of coal or grain cargoes, gained $153 to $13,231.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index snapped a 12-day-losing streak. It edged up 7 points or 0.6% to 1,104.

The Russian Agriculture Ministry set the quota for grain exports in the next year at 24 million metric tons, TASS news agency quoted First Deputy Agriculture Minister Oksana Lut as saying on Wednesday.

Source: Reuters

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