The Baltic Exchange's dry bulk sea freight index snapped four straight sessions of gains on Wednesday as a drop in capesize rates outweighed gains in the smaller vessel segments.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, lost 61 points, or 2.3%, to 2,654 points.
The capesize index shed 233 points, or 5.8%, to 3,822.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $1,937 to $31,694.
Chinese coking coal futures surged more than 13%, boosted by improving sentiment in the property market and expectations of higher steelmaking demand at mills.
Following a rebound in Chinese steel mill profits, more iron ore purchases and a return to seaborne coal ahead of the heating season are expected to support the dry bulk market, shipbroker Intermodal said in a weekly note dated Tuesday.
The panamax index rose 45 points, or 1.9%, to 2,378, its highest level since Nov. 17.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, increased by $405 to $21,405.
The supramax index added 12 points to its highest in a week at 2,255.
Fundamental drivers of coal demand, increased congestion at Pacific discharge ports and a rebound in iron ore exports will help the dry bulk market rebound from its recent decline, before heading into the seasonal weakness in the first quarter of 2022, Intermodal said.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Xinde Marine News.
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