Baltic index gains as rates firm for all vessels

Ships used to carry grains for export are seen next to a dredging boat (L) on the Parana river near Rosario, Argentina, January 31, 2017. Picture taken January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose on Thursday, due to higher rates for all vessels.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 100 points, or 3.1%, at 3,289 points, the highest since Dec. 9.

The capesize index gained 221 points, or 5.31%, to 4,385 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $1,837 at $36,368.

Strong demand for vessels in the far East, with increased activity in both West Australia and Indonesia, is impacting “nearby laycans out of South Africa which see limited amount of tonnage available,” shipbroker Fearnleys wrote in a weekly note on Wednesday referring to the capesize segment.

“This together with improvements in the Atlantic indicates that market levels will go higher for the next week to come,” it added.

The panamax index was up 43 points, or 1.3%, at 3,370 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $387 to $30,326.

The supramax index rose 42 points to 2,800 points.

Source: Reuters