Baltic index falls for fourth session on weak vessel demand

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell for the fourth straight session on Friday as vessels demand continued to be weak.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, fell 35 points, or 2.52 percent, to end at 1,356 points.

The index fell for the first time after eight sessions of gains on Tuesday, having marked its highest level since March 2014 at 1,503 points on Monday.
The index has fallen nearly 10 percent this week, its biggest weekly drop in nearly 4 months.

The capesize index ended down 86 points, or 3.05 percent, at 2,738 points on Friday. On Monday, it hovered near a three-year high.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $668 to $18,725.
“Capesize rates remain under pressure as we head into the Golden Week holiday period in China,” Clarksons Platou Securities analysts said in a note.

The panamax index dropped 44 points, or 3.25 percent, to 1,308 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $353 to $10,509.
Among indices, tracking rates for smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 20 points to 1,021 points, while the handysize index was unchanged at 616 points.

Source: Reuters

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