Baltic Index Hits 1-week Low on Sluggish Demand

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 16, 2020

© Amarinj / Adobe Stock

© Amarinj / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell to a one-week low on Monday, hurt by weaker rates for panamax vessels, which outweighed an uptick in demand for the capesize and supramax segments.

The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, fell 8 points, or 1.3%, to 623, marking its biggest daily fall since Feb. 7 and its lowest level since March 9.

The panamax index shed 37 points, or 3.7%, to 970, also posting its worst day in over a month.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes-70,000 tonnes, declined $329 to $8,732.

The capesize index was up 18 points at -293.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonnes-180,000 tonnes cargoes including iron ore and coal, dropped by $2 to $2,795.

China's factory production plunged at its sharpest pace in three decades in the first two months of the year as the fast-spreading coronavirus and strict containment severely disrupted the world's second-largest economy.

The supramax index inched 4 points higher to 754. 

(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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