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Excel, Genco Fall as Ship Rates Fall Amid Ore Talks

Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. fell 9.1 percent and Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd. dropped 3.3 percent as rates to ship raw commodities fell for the first time in eight days amid speculation mining companies will receive lower prices from Chinese steelmakers for iron ore.

Talks for 2009 contract prices for iron ore started this week and “are going slowly,” Urs Dur, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets in New York, said. “A decrease in price is expected in the first quarter 2009.”

Excel fell 74 cents to $7.38 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Genco was down 53 cents to $15.47.

The Baltic Dry Index, which tracks shipping costs for commodities, declined 12 points, or 1.3 percent, to 908 points, according to the Baltic Exchange. It’s 92 percent below a record reached on May 20.

“Baltic rates seem to have hit a mini-peak,” Omar Nokta, an analyst at Dahlman Rose & Co. in New York, said in a note.

DryShips Inc. fell 35 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $14.60. Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. declined 23 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $6.40.

Rates to hire capesize vessels that typically haul iron ore and coal declined 1.9 percent, the first drop this year, to $15,386 a day. Smaller panamaxes retreated 2.2 percent to $3,995 a day.

BHP Billiton Ltd., Rio Tinto Group and Brazil’s Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, which handle three-quarters of traded iron ore, sell the steelmaking material under long-term contracts to China’s 20 biggest mills and traders at agreed-upon annual prices.

The China Iron & Steel Association proposed that mills should charge a 3 percent to 5 percent premium for reselling imported contract iron ore, said two people familiar with the situation, who declined to be identified because the information is private. They will not be allowed to sell iron ore at higher spot prices, the people said.

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