The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, fell for a ninth straight session on Friday, on weaker demand for capesize and panamax vessel segments.
The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 50 points, or 3.5%, to 1,378. The index was down 18.8% for the week, its biggest weekly decline since February.
The capesize index was down by 73 points, or 2.9%, to 2,444, its lowest since June 26. The index was down 17.2% for the week, marking its fourth weekly decline. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $614 to $19,716.
Meanwhile, iron ore futures in China touched a three-week low in early trade on Friday as prospects of easing winter demand for steel weighed on prices of the key raw material. Capesize is softening from short-term C3 route – Brazil to China – weakness, said Randy Giveans, vice president, equity research at Jefferies. Also, coal to China is temporarily slow.
The panamax index dropped 50 points, or 3.7%, to 1,290, extending its losing streak to a nineteenth straight session. Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell $400 to $10,364. The index was down 14.7% for the week.
The supramax index shed 41 points to 824.
Reporting by Shreyansi Singh