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Baltic index inches lower on weaker panamax rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, inched lower on Thursday, as lower panamax rates offset a rise in capesize rates.

The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, was down 1 point, or 0.1%, at 1,364 points.

The capesize index rose 58 points, or 2.3%, to 2,623 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $292 to $20,961.

The panamax index fell 33 points, or 2.8%, to 1,137 points, its lowest in more than four months.

“The demand-side was slow with few firm cargoes entering the market, and the market has been in the red in both hemispheres throughout the week,” ship broker Fearnleys said in a weekly report on Wednesday.

“Activity in the Black Sea has also dampened significantly.”

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell $268 to $9,126.

The supramax index fell 13 points to 745.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Eluri)

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