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Weak Vessel Demand Drags Baltic Dry Index Down Further

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January 12, 2023

Jan 12 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index on Thursday posted its worst day since the start of this year on lower demand across all vessel segments.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was down 67 points, or 6.4%, at 976, its lowest since early September.

* The capesize index lost 121 points, or 8.2%, at 1,349.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $1,000 at $11,188.

* Cargo activity is expected slow down dramatically during the Chinese New Year holidays, shipbroker Fearnleys said. The upcoming rainy season in Brazil is adding to market uncertainty.

* The panamax index dropped 42 points, or 3.7%, to 1,084, a two-and-a-half-year low. The index has not gained in 14 sessions.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell by $380 to $9,757.

* Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 47 points to 715.

* Meanwhile, iron ore futures rose for a third straight session, with the Singapore benchmark scaling a fresh six-month high, underpinned by continued optimism about demand prospects in top steel producer China.

* The Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Wednesday it could slash its forecast for Argentina’s 2022/23 soybeans and corn production by up to 25% if a prolonged drought in the country’s agricultural region continues.

(Reporting by Harshit Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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