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Baltic index nears one-month low as vessel demand weakens

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LONDON : The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell for a sixth straight session on Thursday to its lowest level in almost a month, pressured by lower rates across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels carrying dry bulk commodities, fell 23 points, or 1.6%, to 1,402 points – its lowest since April 19.

The capesize index dipped 42 points, or 1.9%, to over three-week low at 2,142 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased $344 to $17,767.

Meanwhile, Dalian iron ore futures extended gains for the fourth session in a row supported by improved steel margins, production resuming and the persistently low inventory at Chinese steel mills.

The panamax index was down 25 points, or 2.0%, at 1,235 points, its lowest since Feb. 23.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $231 to $11,112.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 5 points to 1,085 points.

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