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Waning vessel demand drags Baltic index lower

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index on Thursday posted its worst day since the start of this year on lower demand across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was down 67 points, or 6.4%, at 976, its lowest since early September.

The capesize index lost 121 points, or 8.2%, at 1,349.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $1,000 at $11,188.

Cargo activity is expected slow down dramatically during the Chinese New Year holidays, shipbroker Fearnleys said. The upcoming rainy season in Brazil is adding to market uncertainty.

The panamax index dropped 42 points, or 3.7%, to 1,084, a two-and-a-half-year low. The index has not gained in 14 sessions.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell by $380 to $9,757.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 47 points to 715.
Source: Reuters

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