Baltic index falls as week-long China holiday hits demand

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index , tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell for the fifth straight session on Monday as vessel demand weakened with top consumer China on a week-long National Day holiday.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, fell 28 points, or 2.06 percent, to end at 1,328 points.

“Relatively quiet start to the week as the holiday period kicks off in the Far East,” Clarksons Platou Securities analysts said in a note.

The index pulled further away from a three-and-a-half-year high of 1,503 points hit on Sept. 25, the last day the index closed higher.

The capesize index ended down 67 points, or 2.45 percent, at 2,671 points on Monday. It hit a near three-year high last week.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $480 to $18,245.

“Overall, dry bulk rates have remained under pressure with capesize earnings sliding,” Clarksons Platou said.

The panamax index dropped 40 points, or 3.06 percent, to 1,268 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $315 to $10,194.

Among indices tracking rates for smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 15 points to 1,006 points, while the handysize index fell two points to 614 points.

Source: Reuters

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