January 6, 2020 / 3:41 PM / 3 months ago

Baltic index falls to over 8-month low on weaker vessel demand

Jan 6 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell to its lowest level since April on Monday, weighed down by weaker vessel demand across all segments.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, declined 63 points, or 6.9%, to 844 points, its lowest level since April 23.

* The capesize index fell 119 points, or 7.9% to 1,388 - its lowest since May 10.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, decreased $1,042 to $9,783.

* Activity in iron ore has slowed down considerably, an Oslo-based shipping analyst said.

* With higher iron ore prices, the Chinese steel mills are buying from domestic port inventories instead of overseas suppliers, the analyst added.

* Iron ore futures rose early on Monday in China due to increased weekly utilisation, showcasing firm demand for the steelmaking ingredient.

* The panamax index declined 59 points, or 6.2%, to 890 points.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, dipped $524 to $8,013.

* The supramax index fell 20 points to 642. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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