Baltic index falls to over 8-month low on weaker vessel demand
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell to its lowest level since April on Monday, weighed down by weaker vessel demand across all segments.
The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, declined 63 points, or 6.9%, to 844 points, its lowest level since April 23.
The capesize index fell 119 points, or 7.9% to 1,388 – its lowest since May 10.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, decreased $1,042 to $9,783.
Activity in iron ore has slowed down considerably, an Oslo-based shipping analyst said.
With higher iron ore prices, the Chinese steel mills are buying from domestic port inventories instead of overseas suppliers, the analyst added.
Iron ore futures rose early on Monday in China due to increased weekly utilisation, showcasing firm demand for the steelmaking ingredient.
The panamax index declined 59 points, or 6.2%, to 890 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, dipped $524 to $8,013.
The supramax index fell 20 points to 642.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)