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Baltic index slips, panamax rates extend weekly declines

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Friday as demand slowed across all vessel segments with panamaxes extending losing streak for a fifth week in a row.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, dropped 50 points, or about 3.1%, to 1,558 — its biggest one-day percentage fall since mid-April.

The capesize index fell 110 points, or 4.3%, to 2,456. The index, however, gained 3% for the week to mark a rise for a fourth week straight.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, fell by $909 to $20,367.

Iron ore futures fell, as traders worried about a dim demand outlook in top steel producer and metals consumer China assessed the prospects of additional stimulus for the world’s second-biggest economy.

The panamax index lost 43 points, or about 3%, to 1,402 — its lowest since Feb. 27. The index was down 6.6% for the week.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, declined by $390 to $12,619.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index lost 7 points to 1,105.
Source: Reuters

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