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Baltic index steady as lower rates for smaller vessels offset capesize gains

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index was little changed on Tuesday as declines to multi-week lows in the panamax and supramax segments countered gains in capesize rates.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, and supramax shipping vessels, edged down two points to 1,564 points.

The capesize index was up for the second session, gaining 45 points, or 3.1%, at 1,510 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $369 to $12,521.

“The Pacific market seems to be the one under most pressure, having witnessed a week-on-week correction of 50%, given the losing sentiment, coupled with the excess tonnage capacity in the area,” said Thomas Chasapis, analyst at Allied Shipping, in a weekly note on Monday.

The panamax index was down for the 11th straight session, shedding 20 points, or 1%, at a three-week low of 1,938 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $180 to $17,444.

Two more grain-carrying ships left Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port, Turkey’s defence ministry said, as part of a deal to unblock Ukrainian sea exports, bringing the total to leave the country under a safe passage deal to 12.

Ships exporting grain through the Black Sea will be protected by a 10 nautical mile buffer zone, according to long-awaited procedures agreed by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations on Monday.

The supramax index fell 35 points to 1,636 points, its lowest since Feb. 4.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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