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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baltic Dry Index - Reuters

Baltic index slips on weaker capesize, panamax rates




Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:26am EDT

By Koustav Samanta
    Aug 29 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight
index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry
commodities, fell on Wednesday on lower rates for capesize and
panamax vessels.
    The main index, which factors in the average daily earnings
of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport
vessels, fell 6 points or 0.83 percent to 718 points.
    The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping    
commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and
fertiliser, has fallen about 59 percent this year.
    "Overall the sentiment is still bad across all sectors.
Despite record scrappings, the order books remains very large
and most of the world remains either in recession or on the
cusp," Andy Jamison, shipping blogger and owner of the Virtual
Shipbroker said.
    "The entire industry should also be worried about the move
away from coal as a energy source - toward gas and natural
solutions. This will no doubt continue to have huge
consequences on dry bulk vessel demand into the mid and distant
futures." 
    The Baltic's capesize index dipped 5 points or 0.42
percent to 1,177 points. Capesizes typically transport 150,000
tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal.
    Average earnings for capesizes, which have fallen about 88
percent so far this year, was up $21 to $3,296 on Wednesday.
    "Brokers explained the increase in rates on tighter vessel
supply as bad weather and typhoons led to delays, forcing the
miners to pay up for prompt tonnage," RS Platou Markets analyst
Frode Morkedal said in a note.
    China steel futures hit a record low on Wednesday before
paring losses at the close, dogged by weakening demand in the
world's top consumer that has pushed down the price of raw
material iron ore to levels last seen in 2009. 
    Shipments of iron ore account for about a third of seaborne
volumes on the larger capesizes, and brokers said price
developments remained a key factor for dry freight. 
    The Baltic's panamax index was down 24 points or
2.96 percent at 788 points. 
    Earnings for panamaxes, which usually transport 60,000 to
70,000 tonne cargoes of coal or grains, have fallen more than 52
percent this year.
    The panamax market remained slow with little activity in the
Atlantic on still slower coal and grain trades, analyst Morkedal
said. 
    Average daily earnings for handysize ships were down $66 to
$6,766, while those for supramax ships were up $6 to $8,966.
    Growing ship supply has been outpacing commodity demand for
some time and is widely expected to weigh on dry bulk freight
rates in the coming months.

 (Additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bangalore,
editing by William Hardy)

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