London (Commonwealth Union) _ The prices for transported goods, including coal, grain, and iron ore, are covered by the Baltic Dry Index, which is maintained by the London-based Baltic Exchange. The index is based on a daily poll of agents conducted throughout the globe. On May 20, 2008, the Baltic Dry index reached a brief peak of 11,793. On February 10, 2016, the index fell to 290 points, the lowest figure ever was attained. On lower prices across boats as mounting COVID cases in China hampered demand, the dry bulk marine freight index for the Baltic Exchange fell on Tuesday, lingering around a 2-1/2-month low touched in the previous day.
The total index fell 28 points, or roughly 2.4%, to 1,149, its lowest level since September 7, when it took into account rates for capesize, panamax, and supramax shipping vessels transporting dry bulk commodities. The capesize index dropped to 1,092 after losing 37 points, or 3.3%, to its lowest level in more in two months. Capesize ships, which commonly carry coal and iron ore cargoes weighing 150,000 tonnes each, had a $306 decline in average daily profits to $9,057.
In a letter dated Monday, shipbroker Allied commented on the dropping pricing for capesizes, saying that “it will take some time, and bigger adjustments in market fundamentals, before the (capesize) market can genuinely return on an improved track in the short term”. The panamax index dropped 53 points, or 3.4%, to 1,496, which is a more than 11-week low.
For panamax boats, which typically transport 60,000–70,000 tonnes of coal or grain cargoes, the average daily revenue dropped by $474 to $13,463. In early February 2021, the supramax index was at 1,160 when it dropped 4 points to reach this level. Rising COVID cases in China, the biggest steel producer in the world, stoked fears about demand, causing iron ore futures to fall.