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Baltic index extends decline as larger vessel rates dip

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LONDON : The Baltic Exchanges main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell for a fourteenth consecutive session on Tuesday as rates for the larger vessel segments slipped.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell by 24 points, or 1.5%, to 1,570 points, its lowest level in two months.

The capesize index dipped by 45 points, or 2.1%, to over a two-month trough at 2,153.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $372 to $17,854.

Iron ore futures prices rose for a second straight session, underpinned by mounting hopes of improving demand for the key steelmaking ingredient in top consumer China in the coming weeks.

The panamax index fell by 34 points, or about 2%, to 1,633 points.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, fell $302 to $14,699.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index ticked up to 1,259 points.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said on Monday it destroyed air defence and drone systems of Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi forces in the area of the Red Sea, with no injuries or damage reported to commercial, U.S. and coalition ships.

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