Baltic index hits over 4-month peak on higher rates for all vessels

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose to a more than four-month high on Monday, helped by stronger rates across vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, rose 113 points, or 4.2%, to 2,831 points, the highest since mid-December last year.

The capesize index rose 291 points, or 10.1%, to 3,185 points, its highest in more than four months.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased $2,410 to $26,412.

Capesize vessel rates averaged higher in both the Atlantic and Pacific regions, driven by increased activity on the Australia-to-China and the Asia-to-Europe routes, Jefferies said in a weekly note on Monday.

“The coal trade to Europe has strengthened as EU buyers look to source alternative supplies from non-Russian sources. We expect further strength ahead,” the note added.

Meanwhile, Chinese iron ore futures plunged as much as 7% on Monday, as stringent COVID-19 restrictions prompted traders to be cautious and fuelled concerns over global demand.

The panamax index gained 58 points, or 1.8%, to 3,233 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose $521 to $29,093.

The supramax index was up 3 points at 2,732 points.

Source: Reuters

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