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Baltic index logs weekly gain on strong capesize demand

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Friday to mark a weekly gain on the back of higher rates for capesize and supramax vessels.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, gained 13 points, or 0.7%, to 1,997. The index rose 2.5% this week.

The capesize index rose 63 points, or 2.1%, to 3,142, marking its highest level since May 10. It recorded a weekly gain of 6.3%.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, were up $526 at $26,059.

Iron ore futures prices slipped and were on track for a fourth straight weekly loss amid talks of a cap on crude steel output in China.

The panamax index fell 40 points, or about 2.1%, to 1,827, its lowest level since June 11. It lost 6.3% this week.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, lost $358 to $16,441.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was up 9 points, or 0.7%, to 1,398. The index recorded a weekly gain of 4.7%.

Global commodities trader Trafigura loaded diesel on to a supertanker in the Middle East this week, taking advantage of lower freight rates for crude tankers to send more fuel to the West, according to shipping data and several trade sources.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Anmol Choubey in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreya Biswas)

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