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Baltic index hits one-week low on weaker vessel rates

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LONDON : The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, fell to a one-week low on Thursday, dragged by weaker demand across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 43 points, or 2.1%, to 2,021, its lowest level since June 26.

The capesize index dropped 94 points, or 2.6%, to 3,486.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, were down $777 at $28,911.

Iron ore futures climbed to a one-month high on the day, underpinned by robust near-term demand, improved steel fundamentals, a weaker U.S. dollar and persistent hopes of more stimulus from top consumer China.

The panamax index fell 39 points, or about 2.4%, to 1,568.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, declined $349 to $14,110.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 3 points, or 0.2% to 1,337.

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