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Baltic index inches up on capesize boost

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, ticked up on Wednesday on gains in the capesize segment.

The index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, added 5 points, or 0.2%, to 3,058.

The capesize index rose 8 points, or 0.2%, to 3,513.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes of iron ore, were up $64 at $29,135.

The gains came even as benchmark iron ore futures in China fell nearly 4% on Wednesday on cooling demand as mills controlled their crude steel production, while arrivals of the steelmaking ingredient gained.

Some steel producers in China’s Jiangsu, Fujian and Yunnan provinces were told by the government to cut production as the country aims to keep its annual output no higher than it made in 2020.

The panamax index dropped 23 points, or 0.6%, to 3,577, the lowest in nearly a month.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, dropped by $205 to $32,195.

Argentina’s government has urged citizens to limit water use in a bid to alleviate pressure on the Parana River, a key grains thoroughfare that is at a 77-year low, a situation which is hampering shipments of cereals including soy and wheat.

The supramax index gained 24 points to 2,807.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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