Vessel demand concerns extend Baltic index fall

Reuters — The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying industrial commodities, extended its record low run to a 14th straight session on Friday on persistent vessel glut and weak demand.

The overall Baltic Dry Index, which gauges the cost of shipping dry bulk including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer, fell one point, or 0.28 per cent, to 354 points.

The dry bulk sector has taken a beating from the slowdown in Chinese business at a time when the sector is struggling with huge overcapacity.

The capesize index made recoveries for the second consecutive session, gaining 23 points, or 11.2 per cent, to 229 points.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $176, to $2,984 (all figures US$).

The panamax index shed 12 points to record a new all-time low of 334 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $92, to $2,672.

Reporting for Reuters by Nallur Sethuraman in Bangalore.

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