Baltic index hits near 1-month peak on strong vessels demand

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, hit a near one-month high on Thursday, supported by higher rates across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, rose 106 points, or 5.8%, to 1,942, its highest level since May 14.

The capesize index climbed 259 points, or 9.5%, to 2,985.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, was up $2,144 at $24,752.

Iron ore futures prices ticked up, helped by Beijing’s latest move to revive its struggling property sector, although lackluster near-term demand and persistently high portside stocks in top consumer China capped gains.

The panamax index was up 56 points, or about 3%, to 1,920.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, gained $500 to $17,280.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was up 16 points, or 1.2%, to 1,313.

Iran-allied Houthi militants on Wednesday took responsibility for small watercraft and missile attacks that left a Greek-owned cargo ship taking on water and in need of rescue near Yemen’s Red Sea port of Hodeidah.

Source: Reuters