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Baltic Index Falls as Lower Vessel Rates Bite

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The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell on Wednesday, weighed by capesize rates hitting their lowest level in nearly a month and lower earnings at the panamax segment.

The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 46 points, or about 2.6%, to 1,696.

The Baltic capesize index dropped 141 points, or 4.6%, to 2,941, touching its lowest level since June 17.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, was down by $1,175 at $24,387.

Rising iron ore demand from China as the world's second-largest economy opening up for business has helped the capesize index gain 51% so far this year.

"Taking into consideration that the Capesize segment has witnessed exceedingly firming activity since the beginning of the summer season, it was a matter of time that charterers reaction will add pressure on the market," ship broker Intermodal said in a weekly research note on Tuesday.

The panamax index was down 18 points, or 1%, at 1,579.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell by $164 to $14,211.

However, the supramax index rose 15 points, or 1.7%, to 890.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

Jul 15, 2020


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