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Baltic index extends losing streak to tenth day on weaker demand

The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index fell for a tenth straight session on Thursday, touching its lowest level in about a year, on waning demand across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 96 points, or 6.1%, to 1,474, its lowest since February 2021.

The capesize index dropped 195 points, or 15.9%, to 1,031, its lowest since Feb. 12 last year.

“Big ships are still suffering from the typical January dip after a very brutal start to the year,” shipbroker Fearnleys said in a weekly note, referring to the capesize segment.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, dropped by $1,622 to $8,547.

Meanwhile, iron ore pushed higher on expectations of further monetary easing measures in top steel producer China.

The panamax index slipped 71 points, or 3.4%, to its lowest since April at 2,024.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, fell by $632 to $18,220.

The lack of coal exports from Indonesia continued to impact the market in the week to Jan. 20, Fearnleys added.

Indonesia’s government has eased a coal export ban for 139 companies as of Thursday. The world’s biggest thermal coal exporter on Jan. 1 imposed a month-long export ban without warning, causing jitters in markets and among major importers.

The supramax index eased 39 points to 1,773.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Rahul Paswan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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