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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Maritime Logistics Professional

October 11, 2021

Baltic Index Falls, Capesizes Hold Near 13-year High

© arikbintang / Adobe Stock

© arikbintang / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's dry bulk sea freight index slipped on Monday, as a decline in capesize rates offset gains in smaller vessel segments, although the main index held close to a 13-year high.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, fell for a second straight session, by 38 points or 0.7%, to 5,488. The index hit its highest in more than 13 years, at 5,650 points, on Oct. 7.

The capesize index shed 137 points, or 1.4%, to 9,975, but held close to its highest since 2008. Shipping constraints and a rebound in demand had propelled the index above the 10,000-mark for the first time in more than 13 years, on Oct. 6.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $1,143 to $82,722.

Factors, including a gradual release in capesize congestion at Chinese ports, contributed to the dip in the segment, said Tamara Apostolou, analyst at Intermodal Research.

Looking ahead, elevated oil prices, fleet inefficiencies on the Atlantic- Pacific basin route, coupled with high iron ore exports and surging coal demand amid sky-rocketing natural gas prices could drive further gains in the dry bulk market for the rest of 2021, Apostolou said.

Dalian coking coal scaled a contract high on Monday while coke futures hit a six-week peak, as recent flooding in China's top coal-producing Shanxi province intensified supply fears.

The panamax index rose 11 points, or 0.3% to 3,877, snapping a losing streak of seven straight sessions.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, increased $99 to $34,893.

The supramax index rose 14 points to 3,431, its highest in over a month.


(Reporting by Kavya Guduru; editing by Uttaresh.V)