The Baltic Exchange’s main seafreight index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, fell to its lowest level in over 14 months, with slow activity set to continue in the coming weeks, according to Exim News Service.
The index, which gauges the cost of shipping commodities, including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, fell by 2.72 per cent, or 50 points, to 1,790 points and was at its lowest since April 30 last year.
"The market has continued to slide," said a Research Director. "Generally, the tone is still very weak."
A combination of slower iron ore activity, weaker coal imports into China, easing port congestion and the end of South America’s grains export season have weighed on freight rates in recent weeks.
The Baltic index has had its worst run since 2008 and is over 55 per cent down since it first started dropping on May 27.
The Baltic’s Panamax index, meanwhile, rose by 0.26 per cent with Panamax average daily earnings rising to $15,680 in the first gain since June 24. The Supramax index fell by 1.62 per cent.
More broadly, industry concerns over the pace of the global economic recovery could hit shipping, given that about 90 per cent of the world’s traded goods by volume are transported by sea. US small businesses grew more pessimistic about their economic outlook in June in the face of weak sales and political uncertainty.