The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, inched higher on Tuesday, supported by firm rates for panamax vessels on demand from grain cargoes.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, rose 7 points, or 0.5 percent, to end at 1,418 points.
The panamax index was up 27 points, or 1.88 percent, at 1,465 points. The index rose for a fifth straight session on Tuesday on increasing demand for grain cargoes, especially from the U.S. Gulf Coast and east coast of South America.
“Position lists have become fairly tight all around, while expectations for an even busier week on the grain trade should help push hire rates even further,” Allied Shipbroking said in a client note.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose $215 to $11,770.
The capesize index fell by 12 points, or 0.41 percent, to close at 2,894 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $255 at $20,002.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 18 points to end at 996 points, while the handysize index rose 5 points to close at 618 points.