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Baltic index gains as rates for smaller vessels rise

The Baltic exchange’s main sea freight index rose on Wednesday, snapping a five-session losing streak, as an uptick in the smaller panamax and supramax vessel segments more than offset a dip in capesize rates.

The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose 6 points, or 0.2%, to 2,801.

The capesize index shed 5 points to 3,785.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes of coal and steel-making ingredient iron ore, fell $37 to $31,392.

Chinese hot rolled coils and rebar futures fell more than 5% on Wednesday as concerns over steel output cuts eased and construction activity is expected to slow in the coming rainy season.

“China’s property new starts have increased +19.0% YTD in 2021. Any slowdown in the growth of new floor space under construction will not immediately translate into lower steel and iron ore demand; developers are likely to accelerate property completions from now on continuing to drive demand,” shipbroker Intermodal said in a weekly research note dated Tuesday.

The panamax index advanced by 3 points, or 1%, to 2,857.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,00 tonnes, added $27 to $25,709.

The supramax index was up 20 points at 2,344.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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