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Capesize strength propels Baltic index to fifth straight weekly gain

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index slipped on Friday, but registered its fifth consecutive weekly rise bolstered by gains in the capesize vessel segment.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, fell 13 points, or 0.4%, at 3,104 points on Friday. It was up 14.2% this week.

The capesize index fell 18 points, or about 0.5%, at 3,947 points, but rose 36.4%, also logging its fifth consecutive weekly gain.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $152 to $32,733.

Chinese steel rebar and hot-rolled coil futures traded in a tight range on Friday and posted weekly losses as COVID-19-related restrictions and heavy rains dented downstream demand.

The panamax index was down 27 points, or about 0.8%, at 3,283 points. The segment gained 3.4%, its second straight week of gains.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $245 to $29,545.

Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased a total of around 450,000 tonnes of optional-origin milling wheat in an international tender this week, European traders said in assessments on Thursday.

The supramax index gained 2 points to 2,752 points.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Roshan Abraham in Bengaluru)

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