Baltic index stretches losing streak, hits near 6-month low

Date: Feb 2, 2018
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index extended its slide to a fourth straight session to touch a near six-month low on Thursday, as rates fell for all vessel segments amid a seasonal slowdown in demand.

The overall index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, dropped by 38 points, or 3.3 percent, to 1,114 points, the lowest since Aug. 10, 2017.

The index recorded a 15.66 percent decline in January, its biggest monthly percentage fall since May 2017.

“I think its fair to recognize that the first quarter always represents quite a much lower level of demand,” said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at industry lobby group BIMCO.

The capesize index shed 85 points, or 5.3 percent, to 1,528 points, having registered a 43 percent fall in January 2018.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $936 at $11,791.

Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange slipped 1 percent on Thursday amid concerns that appetite from the world’s top buyer could weaken if steel mills keep cutting production beyond winter.

To read full article please click here