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Baltic Dry Index Marks Worst Week Since 2008

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

January 12, 2024

© InfinitumProdux / Adobe Stock

© InfinitumProdux / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's dry bulk sea freight index slid on Friday as its worst week since 2008 came to an end with rates across vessel segments languishing at multi-month lows.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, and supramax shipping vessels, lost 94 points, or 6.1%, to 1,460, its lowest level since Nov. 2. It shed more than 30% for its biggest weekly decline since 2008.

The capesize index dropped by 252 points, or 10.4%, to 2,172, extending its losing streak to the fifth session and hitting its lowest since Nov. 3. The index lost 43% this week, its worst in 11 months.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $2,090 to $18,015.

China's iron ore imports in 2023 hit a record high, up 6.6% from a year before, customs data showed, thanks to stronger demand amid a lack of government-mandated steel output caps and higher-than-expected steel exports.

The panamax index fell 11 points, or 0.8%, to 1,410, logging its 11th straight session of declines. It was down 15% for the week, its biggest weekly fall since July.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000 to 70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, slipped by $97 to $12,693.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 20 points to a four-month low of 1,088. It has not seen a single session of gains since Dec. 5.

The U.S. and Britain launched dozens of air strikes across Yemen overnight in retaliation against Iran-backed Houthi forces for attacks on Red Sea shipping, widening regional conflict stemming from Israel's war in Gaza.

(Reuters - Reporting by Deep Vakil; Editing by Tasim Zahid)