Baltic Index Down for 8th Straight Week
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell on Friday, with rates for the capesize segment slipping into the negative for the first time ever on lower demand and as the coronavirus outbreak muted activity.
The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels to ferry dry bulk commodities, fell 11 points, or 2.2%, to 487 — its lowest level since April 2016.
The index has lost over 10.5% this week, registering its eighth consecutive weekly decline.
The capesize index dropped 21 points to a fresh record low of negative 20 points, extending its losing streak to a 36th straight session.
The index has fallen by more than 99% this week, the steepest weekly slide on record.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, dropped $108 to $3,973.
The outbreak of the coronavirus, which has caused 213 fatalities so far, has led to Chinese commodities exchanges delaying re-opening dates post Lunar New Year as part of the country's effort to contain the virus.
The panamax index declined 21 points, or 3.5%, to 574, down nearly 14% for the week.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, shed $188 to $5,163.
The supramax index lost 4 points to 524.
(Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)