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Baltic index jumps to over 3-week high on higher vessel rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index jumped to the highest in more than three weeks on Wednesday, as rates for all vessel segments rose, led by capesizes.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was up 80 points, or 13.5%, at 674, on its best day in over a year.

The capesize index rose 28.7%, the highest percentage gain in five months, or 87 points, to 390.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $722 at $3,235.

The panamax index was up 108 points, or 12.8%, at 951, posting its best day in two years.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, gained $972 to $8,557.

Elsewhere, Chicago wheat futures fell to a two-week low on Wednesday as an Egyptian tender highlighted export competition from the Black Sea region, tempering worries about war disruption to Ukrainian supplies.

Ukraine is seeking an extension of at least one year on the Black Sea grain deal that would include the ports of Mykolaiv, a senior Ukrainian official said. The agreement, which allowed grain to be exported from three Ukrainian ports will expire on March 18 unless an extension is agreed.

In one year of Russian invasion of Ukraine, “dry bulk exports from the Ukraine have dropped 77.8% compared to the same period a year earlier, causing a decline in global dry bulk volumes”, wrote Filipe Gouveia, shipping analyst at BIMCO, in a weekly note.

The supramax index (.BSIS) rose 65 points, or about 8.1%, to 872, a seven-week high.

Source: Reuters

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