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Baltic index dips as rates fall for capesize, panamax vessels

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index was down on Monday, weighed by weakness across capesize and panamax vessel segments.

The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 32 points, or about 1.9%, to 1,678, lowest in nearly a month.

The Baltic capesize index dipped 75 points, or 2.5%, to 2,950.

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 $616 at $24,469.

Iron ore futures slipped on Monday on rising port inventory of the steelmaking ingredient in China.

However, “the dry bulk shipping market has rallied into the summer and the second half of 2020 should be much stronger than the first half due to economic recovery in China, increasing Brazilian iron ore exports, and very low fleet growth,” Randy Giveans, vice president, equity research, at Jefferies said in a note.

Rising demand for iron ore from China, as the world’s second-largest economy gradually opens up for business after months of virus-led lockdowns, has helped the capesize segment to gain 51% so far this year.

The panamax index was down 39 points, or 2.6%, at 1,465.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell by $344 to $13,188.

However, the supramax index rose 10 points, or 1.1%, to 920.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru;)

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