Baltic index hits over 3-week high as vessel rates climb

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight hit a more than three-week high on Thursday, driven by robust demand across all vessel segments.The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, rose by 57 points, or 3.1%, to 1,901 points, its highest level since March 26.The capesize index .BACI gained 85 points, or 3.1%, to 2,845.Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased by $705 to $23,598.Iron ore futures rose for a second straight session on Thursday, underpinned by heightened expectations of growing demand in top consumer China on the back of improved downstream demand and steel margins.The panamax index was up 71 points, or 3.9%, at 1,876 points.The index was up for the sixth straight session.Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, gained $641 to $16,885.“The Panamax market is showing signs of a rebound, driven by an increase in ECSA grain shipments and a relative rise in the Panamax 82 index compared to the Supramax 63 index,” shipbroker Fearnleys wrote in a weekly note on Wednesday.Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was up by 28 points, or 2.1%, to 1,365 points.Source: Reuters