Baltic index falls on lower capesize demand

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index (.BADI), tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, extended its decline for the fourth straight session on Thursday, pressured by falling demand for capesize vessels.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 42 points, or about 2.3%, to 1,757.

The capesize index (.BACI) fell 153 points, or about 7.3%, to 1,954, its lowest in a week.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as coal and steel-making ingredient iron ore used in construction, were down $1,275 at $16,202.

Iron ore futures rose, with the Dalian benchmark contract touching a two-week high, underpinned by increased construction activity in top steel producer China and sustained policy support for the sector.

The panamax index (.BPNI) rose 41 points, or about 2%, to 2,063.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $366 to $18,567.

Increased soybean harvest and export volumes in the United States, coupled with signs of recovery in imports by China, shall aid the panamax index, Niels Rasmussen, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO, said in a weekly note.

Even as China is planning to cut amount of soybeans used in feed products to curb demand, “a reduction in shipped volumes remains unlikely.”

The supramax index (.BSIS) fell 6 points to 1,674, ending an 11-session wining streak.

Source: Reuters

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