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Baltic index inches up as panamax gains offset capesize losses

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, edged higher on Wednesday as gains in the panamax vessel segment countered declines in the larger capesize segment.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, rose 5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,836.

The capesize index dipped 58 points, or 2.1%, to 2,726, its lowest level since May 29.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, was down $481 at $22,608.

Iron ore futures prices fluctuated as improved Chinese economic data was counter-balanced by weak near-term demand, high portside stockpiles and a stronger U.S. dollar.

The panamax index hit its highest level since May 15 and was up 57 points, or about 3.2%, to 1,864.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, gained $515 to $16,780.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was up 26 points, or 2.1%, to 1,297, its highest level since May 28.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Anmol Choubey in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreya Biswas)

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