London - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index reversed course to inch up on Friday after 21 straight session of declines, helped by higher earnings for capesize vessels. The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, increased 2 points, or 0.3%, to 774 points. The Baltic index started falling on Dec. 4, and continued its slide for 20 more consecutive sessions. On Friday, the index was still at its lowest since April 17. There has been a dramatic decline in the Baltic index because of a fall in all segments on seasonality, IMO 2020 regulations, and higher bunker costs, according to Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO.
The capesize index fell 89 points, or 7.7%, to 1,066 – its lowest since April 29. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, increased $239 to $9,438. The panamax index declined 14 points, or 1.8%, to 771 points, its lowest since Feb. 27. Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, dipped $124 to $6,939. The supramax index fell 11 points to 570.