July 25, 2019 / 1:01 PM / a month ago

Baltic index drops as ship availability weighs on capesize rates

July 25 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell for a third straight session on Thursday as a combination of more ships and easing shipments of iron ore in the Atlantic dragged capesize vessel rates.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, fell 3.3%, or 67 points, to 1,947 points.

* The index has still more than tripled since February, mainly driven by strong demand for vessels that ship iron ore from Brazil into China.

* The capesize index fell 199 points, or 5.2%, to 3,609 points.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonne-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, declined $1,424 to $26,928.

* “The market is falling off currently on the back of abundant vessels in the Atlantic basin and a lack of fresh requirements,” shipbroker Fearnleys said in a note.

* “Still, fundamentals are better, and expected to improve further in the coming months.”

* The panamax index fell 29 points, or 1.3%, to 2,180 points.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $227 to $17,431.

* The supramax index fell 7 points to 1,012 points. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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