August 2, 2019 / 1:19 PM / 4 months ago

Ship supply, easing demand pull down Baltic index to 3-week lows

Aug 2 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell for a ninth straight session on Friday to a three-week low, hurt by higher vessel supply and soft demand in the Atlantic and Pacific basins.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, fell 24 points, or 1.3%, to 1,788 points, lowest since July 11. The index was lower for a second straight week, down 7.7%.

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

* Activity, however, eased in the past week, weighing on vessel rates, analysts said.

* The capesize index fell 42 points, or 1.2%, to 3,492 points. The index was also down for a second straight week, down 4.3%.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonne-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $318 to $25,749.

* The panamax index fell 39 points, or 2.1%, to 1,779 points. The index was down for an eighth straight session. The index has fallen 15.6% this week, its worst week since week-ending Feb. 1.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $313 to $14,234.

* The supramax index fell 6 points to 968 points. (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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