September 27, 2019 / 2:29 PM / 18 days ago

Baltic index falls on sluggish capesize demand

Sept 27 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, dropped on Friday and recorded its steepest percentage fall in two months, as Chinese steel mill restrictions continued to drag down capesize rates.

* The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, declined 106 points, or 5.4%, to 1,857 points. For the week, the index dropped 13.3%, its worst week in nearly eight months.

* The capesize index fell 263 points, or 7.3%, to 3,338 points. The index slid 16.2% for the week, its biggest weekly percentage fall since July 26.

* The average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transports 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, dived by $2,283 to $24,916.

* Many Chinese steel mills have been ordered to shut or limit operations starting this week under a strict anti-pollution campaign as China prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic on Oct. 1, when the week-long holidays will begin.

* The panamax index slipped 42 points, or 2.3%, to 1,804 points.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carries coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell by $337 to $14,444.

* The supramax index dropped 12 points to 1,260 points. (Reporting by Nakul Iyer and Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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