The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index extended its decline to hit a near four-month low on Thursday, weighed down by weaker demand across vessel segments as shipping activity remained low.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels carrying dry bulk commodities, lost 30 points, or 2.6%, to 1,146, its lowest since Sept. 7.
The capesize index dropped 12 points, or 0.8%, to a one-month low of 1,504.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as coal and steel-making ingredient iron ore, decreased $102 to $12,473.
“After a relatively inactive Christmas period in terms of fixing activity, the year starts off with rates coming off,” shipbroker Fearnleys said in its weekly note, referring to the capesize segment.
Expectations to the first part of the new year are rather low, whilst the general sentiment is rather positive to the second half of the year, it added.
Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures fell on Thursday, pressured by worries about demand prospects in top steel producer China, as a surge in COVID infections hit domestic economic activity.
The panamax index fell 46 points, or about 3.3%, to 1,332, its lowest since Sept. 5.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $414 to $11,986.
The supramax index shed 41 points to $871, its lowest in more than two years.