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Baltic index falls as capesize rates ease

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index was down on Thursday, as declining capesize vessel rates offset gains in panamax and supramax index.

The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 39 points, or 2.1%, to 1,810.

The Baltic capesize index lost 184 points, or 5.2%, to 3,386.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, dropped by $1,529 to $28,081.

However, rising demand for iron ore from China, after the economy opened up following months of virus-led lockdown, has helped the capesize index gain over 73% so far this year.

“The big ships experiencing partly awaited correction after almost one month of steady/aggressive spot improvements,” ship broker Fearnleys said in a weekly note.

“Basic fundamentals remain good … Atlantic in particular keeps being very tight on early tonnage and appears a key driver for subsequent recovery.”

The panamax index rose 2.6%, or 40 points, to 1,557.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $360 to $14,011.

The supramax index rose 36 points, or 4.7%, to 809.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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