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Shipping Index Has Smallest Gain in Nine on Panamaxes

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, had its smallest increase in nine sessions as demand and rates declined for ships designed to navigate the Panama Canal.

The gauge rose 0.6 percent to 978 points, according to the Baltic Exchange in London, the least since June 8. Panamax vessels fell 1.8 percent to $8,543 a day. The three other ship types that make up the index all rose.

The number of Panamax bookings declined, Rahul Kapoor, a Singapore-based analyst at RS Platou Markets AS, an investment bank, said in an e-mailed note today.

Rates are slumping as the fleet swells faster than the amount of cargoes. Supply of Panamaxes will expand 14 percent this year as seaborne trade in commodities swells 4 percent, according to Clarkson Plc, the world’s largest shipbroker.

Rates for Capesizes that carry about 180,000 metric tons of cargo, about twice as much as Panamaxes, rose 1.8 percent to $3,550 a day. Smaller Supramaxes gained 1.9 percent to $12,207; Handysizes rose 0.8 percent to $10,189.

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