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Queensland Floods Free Up Ships, Lower Freight Costs

Freight costs fell as Queensland’s worst flooding for 50 years prompted buyers of the Australian state’s coal to cancel ship charters, intensifying competition for cargoes as the extra vessels become available.

Flooding has covered an area the size of France and Germany, damaging crops and cutting coal stockpiles for export as mines shut. Freight rates as measured by the Baltic Dry Index today slumped 4.5 percent to 1,693 points, taking the decline since Sept. 10 to 43 percent.