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Baltic index marks worst week in seven on lower vessel demand

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index recorded its worst week in seven, weighed down by weaker demand across vessel segments. However, an uptick in capesize vessel rates helped snap a six-session losing streak on Friday.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, edged up 27 points, or 1.49%, to 1,844 points.

On a weekly basis, the index has fallen 13.4%.

The capesize index gained 117 points, or 4.57%, to 2,675, but registered a weekly decline of 18%.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased by $962 to $22,180.

Iron ore futures surged to their highest levelin over a week on Friday and were on track for a weekly gain, buoyed by robust consumption and a brighter demand forecast in China, due to its recent property stimulus measures.

The panamax index was down by 20 points, or about 1.08%, to 1,825, marking its lowest level since April 17. The contract was down about 10% for the week.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, declined $175 to $16,427.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was down by 20 points to 1,405.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Anmol Choubey in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreya Biswas)

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