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Baltic index records first weekly gain in five as capesizes strengthen

The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index eased on Friday, but posted its first weekly rise in five weeks, helped by stronger rates for the larger capesize vessel segment.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, was down 37 points, or 1.3%, at 2,807.

The main index gained 3.4% for the week.

The capesize index eased 36 points, or 0.9%, to 3,836, snapping a five-session winning streak. However, it saw a weekly gain of 17%.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased $298 to $31,811.

Iron ore prices were on track for a fifth straight weekly fall on Friday, as worries over weak demand for the raw material in top steel producer China outweighed hopes for an easing of financing curbs in the country’s debt-laden property sector.

The panamax index shed 96 points, or 3.2%, to 2,930, the lowest level in five months. It registered a 4.6% weekly decline.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, was down $867 to $26,370.

The supramax index rose 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,253, ending a 15-session losing streak. The index decreased 6.7% this week.

Shipping companies that transport the world’s coal are in the crosshairs of some financial backers who are cleaning up their businesses in the absence of a truly global drive by nations to renounce the dirtiest fossil fuel.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru)

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