Baltic Index Inches Lower on Weaker Panamax Demand

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 30, 2019

Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO

Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, inched lower on Wednesday on weaker demand for panamax vessels.

The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, edged down by 20 points, or 1.1%, to 1,782.

The capesize index was unchanged at 3,078 points. Limited activity in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins and the resistance of charterers to current freight rates led to lower market rates, while some fresh inquiries in the Atlantic helped curb losses, Allied Shipbroking said in a note on Tuesday. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonne-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell by $41 to $25,684.

The panamax index dropped for the twelfth straight session, falling 34 points, or 2.1%, to 1,574, its lowest in nearly four months. While the South American corn exports season eased the shortfall of cargoes in the third quarter, expectations of a weaker U.S. exports season in the fourth quarter are likely to weigh on panamax rates, said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $273 to $12,634.

The supramax index edged 32 points lower to 1,127.

Reporting by Shreyansi Singh

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