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Shipping Measure Collapses to Record Amid Lack of Coal to China

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A measure of shipping costs for commodities collapsed to a record as China curbs coal buying at a time when the largest-ever fleet is competing to haul cargoes.

The Baltic Dry Index, covering freight for everything from iron ore to grains, slid 0.5 percent to 553 points, according to data on Wednesday from the Baltic Exchange, a London-based publisher of rates on more than 50 trade routes. That was 1 point below the previous record in July and August, 1986.