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Baltic index posts second-biggest jump as vessel rates rebound

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index posted its second-biggest jump ever on Thursday, as rates for all vessel segments rebounded from their multi-year lows, led by capesizes.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was up 142 points, or about 21.1%, at 816, an over one-month high.

The index, extending gains to a fifth session, recorded its biggest jump since mid-June 2020, according to Refinitiv data going back till 1985.

The capesize index gained 183 points, or about 47%, to nearly a month’s high of 573.

Average daily earnings for capesize, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, gained $1,519 to $4,754.

“There is still a good number of owners who prefer to let their ships wait and their persistence will be a key factor in getting returns further up,” shipbroker Fearnleys wrote in a weekly report, referring to the capesize segment.

The panamax index was up 218 points, or about 23%, at 1,169 — its highest since Jan. 10. It posted a record daily percentage increase as far as data goes back to May 1998.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, were up $1,963 at $10,520.

Bumper soybean harvests in Brazil and unsold grains stocks in the United States are set to boost dry bulk shipping rates as buyers, including China, restock after supply shocks last year, leading freight operators said.

New maritime environmental regulations introduced in 2023 are also expected to mean ships slow down speeds to cut emissions, reducing vessel availability.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index (.BSIS) rose 68 points to 940, marking its eight consecutive day of gains.

Source: Reuters

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