Capesize Rates Drag Baltic Dry Index Down Again

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December 22, 2015

ReutersDec 22 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell again on Tuesday due to a drop in capesize vessel rates.

The overall index shed four points, or 0.84 percent, to 474 points.

The index, which gauges the cost of shipping cargoes including iron ore, cement, grain and coal and is seen by investors as an indicator of global industrial activity, touched an all-time low of 471 points on Dec. 16.

Chinese imports of coal and iron ore have remained weak in recent months and worries over the health of the global economy have also dented dry bulk shipping prospects.

The panamax index edged higher by 12 points, or 2.77 percent, to 445 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose $92 to $3,554.

The capesize index, fell 27 points to 485 points, as average daily earnings fell $198 to $4,958 points. Capesizes typically transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index remained unchanged at 449 points, and the handysize index slipped two points to 271 points. (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru, editing by David Evans)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015.

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