The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell to a fresh two-and-a-half year low on Thursday, pressured by thin capesize demand.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, and supramax shipping vessels, was down 26 points, or 3.7%, at 677, lowest since June 4, 2020.
The capesize index (.BACI) lost 82 points, or 13%, to 549, on its worst day in a week, also a two-and-a-half year low.
Average daily earnings for capesizes (.BATCA), which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $680 at $4,551.
The shipping sector saw “more dramatic than anticipated” drop in capesize rates for the season amid lunar holidays in China, shipbroker Fearnleys said in a weekly report.
The panamax index (.BPNI) rose 10 points, or about 1%, at 1,045.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes (.BPWT), which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, were up $91 at $9,409.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index (.BSIS) fell three points to 645.