Baltic index dips as larger vessels retreat

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell on Tuesday, snapping a five-day winning streak, pressured by a fall in the capesize and panamax segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, dipped 112 points, or 4.3%, to 2,484.

The capesize index lost 321 points, or 10.6%, to 2,710.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $2,661 to $22,477.

“A potential stronger availability in tonnage has helped boost rates on the West Australia—China trade… despite the somehow relatively mediocre fixing activity,” Allied Shipbroking said in a weekly note referring to the capesize segment.

Meanwhile, Singapore iron ore futures rebounded after a run of sell-offs triggered by pessimism over demand from top steel producer China, but prices in Dalian remained under pressure.

Shipping companies are transforming rust buckets into gold mines in a modern-day alchemy that could fuel already rampant inflation for years. The disruption to world trade due to the pandemic and a shortage of new cargo vessels has pushed freight rates for ageing container ships to record highs.

The panamax index dropped 21 points, or 0.7%, to 2,851 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000-70,000 tonnes, decreased by $190 to $25,656.

The supramax index edged up 1 point to 2,471.

Source: Reuters

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