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Baltic index down for 9th session on weaker demand for larger vessels

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, fell for a ninth straight session on Friday, on weaker demand for capesize and panamax vessel segments.

* The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 50 points, or 3.5%, to 1,378.

* The index was down 18.8% for the week, its biggest weekly decline since February.

* The capesize index was down by 73 points, or 2.9%, to 2,444, its lowest since June 26.

* The index was down 17.2% for the week, marking its fourth weekly decline.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $614 to $19,716.

* Meanwhile, iron ore futures in China touched a three-week low in early trade on Friday as prospects of easing winter demand for steel weighed on prices of the key raw material.

* Capesize is softening from short-term C3 route – Brazil to China – weakness, said Randy Giveans, vice president, equity research at Jefferies.

* “Also, coal to China is temporarily slow.”

* The panamax index dropped 50 points, or 3.7%, to 1,290, extending its losing streak to a nineteenth straight session.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell $400 to $10,364.

* The index was down 14.7% for the week.

* The supramax index shed 41 points to 824. (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru)

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