Higher rates across vessels propel Baltic index higher

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose to its highest in over a week on Thursday, steered by higher rates across all vessel segments.

The Baltic dry index rose 19 points, or 1.7%, to 1,134, a peak since Nov. 11.

The capesize index went up by 16 points, or 1.1%, to 1,430.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore — a steelmaking raw material — and coal, rose $128 to $11,858.

“With high commodity prices and closing of books, expectations are to see sharply increased demand” on key capesize routes in the next few weeks, ship broker Fearnleys said in a weekly note.

Iron ore futures jumped on Thursday, driven by concerns about supply of the steelmaking raw material from Australia and expectations for increased demand as steel prices picked up in China.

The panamax index rose 35 points, or 2.7%, to 1,326, which was the highest since Oct. 15.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $308 to $11,930.

The supramax index gained 15 points to 915.

Source: Reuters

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