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Baltic index dips to over 1-month low on lower vessel rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell to its lowest in more than a month on Wednesday, hurt by waning demand for capesize vessels.

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 2.4%, to 1,296, its lowest since July 28.

The capesize index dropped 49 points, or 2.6%, to 1,867 points, the lowest since June 16.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes including iron ore and coal, fell $410 to $15,482.

Growing doubts about an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and in turn domestic demand, weighed on Chinese iron ore futures lower on Wednesday.

While Chinese dry bulk imports have recovered, helping the global market weather the impact of waning demand, “the current influx of new dry bulk ships orders is not what is needed,” the Baltic and International Maritime Council said in a note.

The panamax index was down 44 points, or 3.1%, at 1,370 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $394 to $12,330.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 10 points to 931, while the handysize index fell two points to 565.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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