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Baltic index hits 2-week low on retreat across vessels

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell for the third straight session on Wednesday, hitting a two-week low as rates across vessel segments declined.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, shed 54 points, or 2.6%, to 2,007 points, its lowest since July 13.

The capesize index fell for the third straight session, losing 122 points, or nearly 5%, to 2,333 points, a 15-day low.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down by $1,007 at $19,352.

“(The) US Government is exerting pressure on miners to increase (coal) production, therefore, trade flows from US to EU ports are expected to increase within 2H22,” said Chara Georgousi, analyst for Intermodal, in a weekly note on Tuesday.

The panamax index was down 12 points, or 0.57%, at 2,076 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased by $110 to $18,680.

The UN-brokered deal to allow shipments from three ports in western Ukraine, aiming to increase monthly exports of Ukrainian grain by five million tonnes, could free up 65% of the country’s seaborne capacity, said Niels Rasmussen, chief analyst at BIMCO, in a weekly note.

However, “over the past five years, these three ports have not ever handled such a high amount of grain,” Rasmussen added, warning that “the need to escort ships in and out of the ports is likely to cause some congestion.”

The supramax index fell by 33 points to a nine-day low of 2,038 points.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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