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Baltic index slips to 1-week low on weaker rates for larger vessels

The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index dipped to its lowest in a week on Monday, pressured by declines in the larger capesize and panamax vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 48 points, or 1.7%, to 2,759, touching its lowest since Nov. 8.

The capesize index shed 84 points, or 2.2%, to 3,752, its lowest level since Nov. 9.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $698 to $31,113.

Spot rates for capesizes are expected to remain “relatively steady” in the coming weeks as stabilizing commodity prices and rising coal demand offset weak iron ore trade and concerns around Evergrande, brokerage Jefferies said in a weekly note.

Futures for Chinese ferrous raw materials tumbled on Monday, undermined by a big drop in steel production and expectations of more output cuts in coming months, while steel prices were also hurt by stagnant downstream consumption.

The panamax index fell 80 points, or 2.7%, to a five-month trough of 2,850.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, decreased $723 to $25,647.

The supramax index gained 6 points to 2,259.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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