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Baltic index falls to over three-year low on weaker vessel rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell to its lowest level since April 2016, dragged down by lower vessels rates across categories.

The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, dropped 11 points, or 2.0%, to 546 — its lowest in over 3 years.

The capesize index fell 30 points, or 18.2%, to 135.

The index registered its 32nd consecutive session of losses, touching its lowest level since April 3 last year.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, fell $140 to $4,632.

“The dry bulk shipping market will soften in the first quarter of 2020 before rebounding due to growth in Brazilian exports and very low fleet growth,” Randy Giveans, vice-president, equity research at Jefferies said in a note.

The panamax index fell 18 points, or 2.6%, to 673.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, dropped $162 to $6,054.

The supramax index shed 1 point to 542.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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