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Baltic index drops for fourth week on weakness across vessel segments

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell to a fresh six-month low on Friday and posted its fourth consecutive weekly decline as rates slid across vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 79 points, or 5.1%, to 1,477 points. It was down 5.3% on the week.

The capesize index lost 224 points, or 14.6%, to a six-month low of 1,314 points. The index fell 6.9% for the week, its fourth straight drop.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $1,859 at $10,898.

Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures fell as traders weighed demand prospects in top steel producer China, plagued by a debt crisis in its real estate industry.

The panamax index was down for the 14th straight session, shedding 20 points, or 1%, to 1,907 points, its lowest in more than three weeks. It fell 3.1% for the week in its third consecutive decline.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $178 to $17,161.

Maize crop conditions in the EU’s top grain producer France declined steeply last week to their lowest in at least a decade, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed, due to a worsening drought and heatwave.

Meanwhile, two more ships left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, including one laden with the first Ukrainian wheat to be exported under a U.N.-brokered deal, Turkey’s defence ministry said.

The supramax index rose for the first time since July 22, adding two points to 1,593 points. However, it shed 6.3% for the week, its third weekly drop.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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