Baltic index posts first weekly fall in six on weak demand

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, slid on Friday and snapped five straight weekly gains on weakening vessel demand.

The main index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, dropped 34 points, or 1.1%, to 3,039. The index retreated 7.9% this week, its biggest fall since the week ended May 28.

The capesize index fell 18 points, or 0.5%, to 3,442, the lowest since July 6. The index posted a 7.8% weekly decline.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes of iron ore, reduced by $152 to $28,542.

Chinese stainless steel futures surged due to strong consumption and a raw material supply crunch, while concerns over output cut in the steel sector also supported prices.

The panamax index fell 73 points, or nearly 2%, to 3,635. The index dropped 11.4% for the week, its biggest drop since the week ended April 9.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell by $651 to $32,719.

The supramax index fell 24 points to 2,775, ending the week 4% lower.

Source: Reuters

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