Baltic index hits more than one-month high on strong capesize demand

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, hit more than a one-month high on Thursday on the back of by higher capesize rates.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, gained 41 points, or 2.1%, to 1,984, its highest level since May 14.

The capesize index rose 152 points, or 5.1%, to 3,079, marking its highest level since May 13.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, was up $1,255 at $25,533.

Iron ore futures prices were stuck in a tight range as traders weighed high portside inventories and prospects of crude steel output cuts in China against production resumption at some steelmakers.

The panamax index fell 52 points, or about 2.7%, to 1,867, its lowest level since June 12.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, lost $472 to $16,799.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was up 15 points, or 1.1%, to 1,389, its highest level since May 20.

Following the sinking of a second ship, leading industry groups said on Wednesday urgent action must be taken in the Red Sea to stop attacks on merchant shipping by Yemen’s Houthis.

Source: Reuters