Baltic Index Slumps on Weaker Vessel Rates

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On Tuesday, 3rd April, the Baltic Index fell considerably as the primary freight index of the exchange, which tracks the rates of ships carrying dry bulk commodities dropped to an eight month low level, the report says.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was down 39 points, or 3.7 percent, at 1,016 points, its lowest since Aug. 2, 2017.

  • “The current weakness is not particularly surprising – the real surprise is that the weakness comes this late,” said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at industry lobby group BIMCO, attributing the downward trend over the past month to capesize weakness.
  • “Earnings during the first two months were stronger than anticipated – current levels seems to better reflect the drop in cargo movements from the peak in the final months of 2017 as compared to the first couple of months of 2018.”
  • The capesize index lost 86 points, or 8.515 percent, and was 924 points, its lowest since July 12, 2017.
  • Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $592 at $7,747.
  • The Baltic index fell 11.5 percent in March on weaker demand for capesize vessels.
  • The panamax index was down 40 points, or 2.676 percent, at 1,455 points.
  • Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $323 to $11,688.
  • The supramax index fell 13 points to 1,067 points.
  • “The dry bulk sector is still battling overcapacity of ships,” BIMCO’s Sand said.

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Image Credit: Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Source: MarineLink