Demand Woes, Vessel Glut Send Baltic Index to Record Low

Posted by Michelle Howard
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying industrial commodities, hit a record low on Wednesday on persistent oversupply of vessels and tepid demand.
 
The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping dry bulk including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, fell eight points or 2.32 percent to close at 337 points.
 
The index has tumbled nearly 30 percent in January and is yet to register a single session of gains in 2016.
 
The dry bulk sector has taken a beating from the slowdown in Chinese business and is struggling with huge overcapacity.
 
The capesize index fell seven points or 2.89 percent to 235 points.
 
Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $55 to $3,063.
 
The panamax index dropped nine points or 2.88 percent to a record low of 303 points.
 
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $69 to $2,428.
 
(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru)

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