Baltic index dips on weak capesize rates, posts weekly gain of nearly 9%

The Baltic Exchange’s main dry bulk sea freight index slipped on Friday due to a decline in capesize rates, although the main index posted a weekly gain of 8.6%

Gains this week, which saw the index scale a 12-year peak, were supported by port congestion, shipping constraints and an overall rebound in commodities, analysts said.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, fell 7 points, or 0.2%, to 4,644 on Friday.

The current supply picture in shipping sector is the best it has been since the turn of the century, with dry bulk being the most attractive, brokerage Jefferies said in a note on Thursday.

“We believe dry bulk fleet growth will remain below 2% in the coming years, which will likely further support stronger rates,” added Jefferies.

The capesize index decreased by 45 points, or 0.6%, to 7,393. However, the index rose 15.2% this week, after rising to its highest since November 2009 on Sept. 23.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $374 to $61,309.

China’s benchmark iron ore futures gained for a second straight session on Friday, though demand for the steelmaking ingredient is expected to stay cool amid environment-related curbs.

The panamax index rose 18 points, or 0.5%, to 4,012, its highest in more than 10 weeks.

The panamax vessel segment witnessed a rise of 2.8% for the week.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, increased by $157 to $36,104.

The supramax index rose for a sixth straight session, adding 10 points at 3,359.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

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