Baltic index hits near 2-month high as capesize rates gain

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, hit its highest level in nearly two months on Monday as capesize vessels gained on robust demand.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, rose 108 points, or 5.3%, to 2,158, its highest mark since May 9.

The capesize index was up 348 points, or 10.1%, to 3,791, its highest level since March 19.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, were up $2,881 at $31,438.

Iron ore futures prices rose to their highest levels in nearly two weeks, helped by better-than-expected factory data in China and hopes of more stimulus measures in the world’s second-largest economy later this month.

The panamax index fell 5 points, or about 0.3%, to 1,662.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, declined $52 to $14,955.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 16 points, or 1.2% to 1,369.

Source: Reuters