The Baltic Exchange’s main dry bulk sea freight index neared its highest level in over a decade on Thursday, on gains in the panamax and smaller vessel segments.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, gained 2 points at 4,195, not far from its highest since mid-2010 scaled on Aug. 24.
Analysts attributed the recent rally in the index to an overall rebound in commodities demand and global shipping constraints. But potentially easing some of those constraints, the Meishan terminal at China’s Ningbo port resumed operations on Wednesday.
The capesize index shed 66 points, or 1.1%, at 6,043, its second straight fall following a 10-session winning streak.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell by $549 to $50,113.
Iron ore prices rose on Thursday, with the Dalian benchmark advancing for a fourth straight session, buoyed by hopes of a pick-up in steel demand in top consumer China and improving steel profit margins.
The panamax index added 26 points, or 0.7%, at 3,911, its highest in six weeks.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $233 to $35,202.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 51 points to an all-time high of 3,437.