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Dry Bulk: Vessel Demand Wanes

The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index fell for the sixth consecutive session on Thursday to mark its worst day since mid-September, as rates slipped across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, and supramax shipping vessels, fell 55 points, or about 3%, to 1,818.

The capesize index fell 105 points, or about 4.8%, to 2,094.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as coal and steel making ingredient iron ore used in construction, fell $876 to $17,365.

Iron ore futures dipped, with the Dalian benchmark hitting a three-week low, as hopes faded for China to relax its stringent zero-COVID policy, while waning demand for the steelmaking ingredient dragged spot prices to an 11-month low.

The panamax index lost 59 points, or 2.8%, to a 10-day low of 2,088.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, dropped $527 to $18,796.

“Some spoke of certain grain trips paying a premium over mineral trades, but a wide bid/offer gap curtailed any decent activity,” shipbroker Fearnleys said on its website, referring to the panamax segment.

The supramax index was down 12 points at 1,696.