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Baltic index edges lower on weaker panamax, supramax rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged lower on Wednesday, pressured by lower rates for panamax and supramax vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, shed 3 points or 0.2% to 1,711 points.

The panamax index, fell by 44 points or 2.4%, at 1,772 points, down for the ninth straight session.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, decreased by $394 at $15,947.

“The immediate release of vessels is due to load in Baltimore is likely a factor,… it will reduce demand for Panamax and larger vessels,” shipbroker Allied said in a weekly note dated Tuesday.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index shed 19 points or 1.5% to 1,284 points.

Iron ore futures in China eased but were trading higher on a weekly basis as market participants balanced weak demand and hopes for better future consumption.

The capesize index gained 43 points, or 1.8%, at 2,437, its lowest level in nearly two months, marking its best day in over two weeks.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased by $363 to $20,015.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Daksh Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Ravi Prakash Kumar)

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