Iron-Ore Carriers Extend Rate Decline on Fewer Vessels Booked

Daily rates for the largest commodity carriers fell for a 10th session on fewer bookings to ship iron ore cargoes.

Returns for Capesizes, the largest ships hauling the steel-making ingredient, lost 4.8 percent to $5,036 a day, according to the Baltic Exchange, the London-based publisher of freight rates. That’s the 10th straight decline and the lowest rate since March 29, the data show.

Capesize vessels lost 22 percent this month, according to exchange data. The global dry-bulk fleet includes 1,432 of the ships with a combined capacity of 263 million deadweight tons, according to data from Clarkson Plc, the world’s biggest shipbroker. That’s a record high and compares with 138.1 million tons in August 2008.

“Overall activity remains muted,” Oslo-based RS Platou Markets AS said in an e-mailed report today. “Capesize rates continued their free fall yesterday and have declined 33 percent in the past one week to $5,300 a day.”

Rates for Panamaxes, which carry about half as much as Capesizes, slumped 4.9 percent to $7,348 a day, down 47 percent this month, the exchange said. Earnings for Supramaxes declined 1.9 percent to $10,813, and Handysizes decreased 1.1 percent to $9,344 a day.

The Baltic Dry Index, a broader measure of raw-materials shipping costs, fell for an eighth day, sliding 2.8 percent to 923 points. That’s the longest losing streak since Feb. 3, exchange data show.

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