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Baltic index logs worst month in seven on weaker vessel rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index logged its worst month since January on Friday as rates across its component vessel segments saw double-digit monthly declines.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, shed 50 points, or 2.6%, to 1,895 points, its lowest in over five months.

The main index dropped for the third straight month, down 15.4% for July.

The capesize index lost 109 points, or nearly 5%, to a fresh three-week low of 2,081 points.

It had its worst month since January, while sliding 22.8% for the week.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down by $907 at $17,255.

Iron ore futures retreated as China indicated controlling COVID-19 outbreaks was still a priority, although the steelmaking ingredient stayed on track for its steepest weekly rise since March.

The panamax index was down 14 points, or 0.7%, at a one-week low of 2,051 points.

It was down 17.5% on the month, its fourth consecutive monthly decline.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased by $118 to $18,463.

Lloyd’s of London insurer Ascot and broker Marsh launched marine cargo and war insurance for grain and food products moving from Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his country is ready to start grain shipments and is awaiting a signal from the United Nations and Turkey to start the shipments.

The supramax index lost 32 points to 1,971 points, falling 14.5% on the month.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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