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Baltic index down on weak capesize, panamax demand
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Wednesday on weak demand for capesize and panamax vessels.
* The overall index, which factors in the average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, fell 47 points or 3.43 percent to 1,322 points.
* The Baltic’s capesize index fell 93 points or 4.71 percent to 1,880 points.
* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $1,258 to $12,590.
* The dry bulk market continues to see slower volumes due to seasonal norms and the Chinese New Year, Omar Nokta, an analyst with GHS Securities, said.
* Most Chinese steel producers are running down their stocks of raw material iron ore given the poor demand instead of replenishing them as they have done in past years ahead of a week-long Lunar New Year break that begins on Jan. 31
* Shipments of iron ore account for about a third of seaborne volumes on the larger capesizes, and iron ore price developments remain a key factor for dry freight.
* The panamax index shed 34 points or 2.22 percent at 1,496 points.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry 60,000 to 70,000-tonne cargoes of coal or grains, were down $275 to $11,929. (Reporting by NR Sethuraman in Bangalore. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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