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Baltic Sea Freight Index Down On Low Capesize, Panamax Activity

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October 23, 2013

reuters_logo1Oct 23 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which gauges the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, fell for the fifth day running on Wednesday, on falling capesize and panamax rates.

The overall index, which factors in the average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, fell 61 points, or 3.30 percent, to 1,786 points. This is the lowest level since September 17.

The Baltic’s capesize index dropped 167 points, or 5.37 percent, to 2,943 points, the lowest level since September 6.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which usually transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $2,099 at $24,845.

The Baltic’s panamax index shed 28 points, or 1.37 percent, to 2,010 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually transport 60,000 to 70,000-tonne cargoes of coal or grain, fell $227 to $16,072.

“There has been a bit of a drop-off in overall spot volumes as the flurry of bookings seen throughout September has waned. So far this week we count about 6-7 spot capesize bookings, in line with last week’s slower pace of 12 bookings and which compares to the September weekly average of 34 fixtures,” Omar Nokta, an analyst for GHS Securities, said in a note on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bangalore; Editing by Pravin Char)

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