Baltic index hits near 2-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, climbed to its highest level in one and a half months on Thursday, buoyed by strong demand in capesize vessels.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, extended gains from the previous session to rise 67 points, or 3.4%, to 2,031, its highest mark since May 13.

The capesize index was up 226 points, or 7.2%, to 3,371, its highest level since May 9.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, were up $1,872 at $27,954.

Prices of iron ore futures were divergent, with the Dalian benchmark extending its gains for a third session on the back of China’s latest efforts to spur its struggling property market.

The panamax index fell 11 points, or about 0.7%, to 1,672, its lowest level since April 10.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, declined $102 to $15,047.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index snapped a 13-session winning streak and fell 13 points, or 0.9% to 1,399.

Congestion at Singapore’s container port is at its worst since COVID-19, a sign of how prolonged vessel re-routing to avoid Red Sea attacks has disrupted global ocean shipping, with bottlenecks also appearing in other Asian and European ports.

Source: Reuters