The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell on Friday and continued to linger around five month lows as the capesize segment recorded its biggest weekly percentage decline in two years.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, shed 14 points, or 1.23 percent, to 1,125 points, the lowest since Aug. 10, 2017.
For the week, the index ended 12 percent lower.
The capesize index fell 118 points, or 7.32 percent, to 1,493 points, its lowest since Aug. 2.
It fell about 35 percent this week, its biggest weekly percentage decline since Jan. 15, 2016.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $741 to $11,571.
“Capesize rates are under pressure yet again as weak fixture levels in the Far East continue to drive average earnings lower,” Clarksons Platou Securities analysts said in a note.
Iron ore futures in China posted their first weekly drop in three as slower demand stalled a rally in steel prices after they surged nearly 50 percent last year.
Iron ore shipments account for around a third of seaborne volumes on the capesizes.
The panamax index snapped its seven-session long losing streak and rose 22 points, or 1.68 percent, to 1,333 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, were up $176 to $10,693.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 1 point up to 911 points, while the handysize index climbed 4 points to 584 points.