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Baltic index extends losses on falling vessel rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell for a ninth straight session on Tuesday as rates slipped across all 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 21 points, or nearly 1.6%, to 1,328, its lowest since late July.

The capesize index dropped 26 points, or 1.3%, to a more than two-month low of 1,916 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes including iron ore and coal, fell $210 to $15,892.

China’s coal imports fell to an eight-month low of 20.66 million tonnes in August, down 33% from August last year, according to Chinese customs data.

Asia’s total imports of coal from the sea-borne market have slumped this year amid the economic fallout from lockdowns in many countries as they battle to contain the pandemic.

“A stunningly strong 12 months for the tanker shipping industry is now being replaced by lower freight rates, as lower oil production and demand sets in across the globe,” the Baltic and International Maritime Council said in a note.

The panamax index was down 35 points, or 2.4%, at 1,414 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $316 to $12,724.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 8 points to 941 points, while the handysize index fell one point to 567 points.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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