May 15 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell 2 percent on Monday as lower demand for iron ore fixtures hit capesize rates.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, fell 20 points, or 2 percent, to 994 points.
The capesize index was down 64 points, or 3.7 percent, at 1,661 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, was up $559 at $12,385.
Chinese steel rebar prices fell on Monday after data showed the world’s top producer churned out a record tonnage for a second month as mills raced for profits, stoking concerns about a global glut even as Beijing ramps up its effort to curb excess.
Iron ore futures dropped to near four-month lows on Friday, weighed down by concerns over weak demand in the world’s top consumer, China.
Iron ore shipments account for around a third of seaborne volumes on the larger capesizes.
The panamax index dropped 14 points, or 1.4 percent, to 978 points, its lowest level in over two months.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $110 to $7,870.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 2 points to 782 points, while the handysize index was down 1 point at 508 points. (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)
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