The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, was unchanged on Monday near the one-month peak it scaled last week as gains in rates of smaller vessels offset a dip in capesizes.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was flat at 3,371. The index hit a more than one-month high of 3,376 on Aug. 5.
The capesize index dropped 17 points, or 0.4%, to 4,342.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down by $141 to $36,009.
Iron ore futures extended last week’s losses, weighed down by prospects of improved supply and weaker demand from China.
However, brokerage Jefferies said in a weekly report that dry bulk rates should remain firm as demand growth is expected across all dry bulk commodities, with capesize rates likely to outperform during the second half of 2021.
“Container rates and containership charter rates should remain elevated with firm GDP growth and consumer spending coupled with limited supply growth,” it added.
The panamax index rose 9 points, or 0.3% to 3,458, the highest since July 27.
Average daily earnings for panamax, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $84 to $31,125.
The supramax index rose 12 points, or 0.4%, to 3,022 points, an all-time high.