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Baltic index hits two-week low as larger vessel rates dip

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LONDON : The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, fell to its lowest level in two weeks on Tuesday, pulled down by weaker capesize and panamax vessel rates.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 47 points, or 2.4%, to 1,926, its lowest level since June 12.

The capesize index lost 103 points, or 3.3%, to 2,990, marking its lowest level since June 19.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, was down $856 at $24,794.

Iron ore futures prices pared losses, helped by demand for the key steelmaking ingredient and renewed stimulus hopes in top consumer China.

The panamax index fell 57 points, or about 3.2%, to 1,735, its lowest level since June 6.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, lost $517 to $15,614.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was up 7 points, or 0.5%, to 1,412.

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