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Baltic index falls on lower vessel demand

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Wednesday, pressured by lower shipping rates for all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, dropped 44 points, or 2.9%, to its lowest in more than a week at 1,463.

The capesize index lost 89 points, or 4.7%, at 1,822.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, decreased $743 to $15,106.

However, shipbroker Intermodal stated in a weekly note that the capesize sector outlook looks more promising amid optimism for the rebounding Chinese mineral demand.

Dalian iron ore futures edged up as China’s robust loan growth in the first quarter bolstered hopes for an economic rebound for the world’s biggest steel producer, though traders remained wary of growth and regulatory risks.

The panamax index fell 40 points, or about 2.2% to 1,812 — its biggest dip since March 22.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $357 to $16,312.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index lost 13 points at 1,118.

Source: Reuters

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