Baltic index rises as capesize rates hit highest since mid-May


The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose on Thursday on stronger vessel rates, with capesizes at a near three-month peak.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, rose by 58 points, or 1.7%, to 3,376, its highest since June 30.

The capesize index climbed 112 points, or 2.6%, to 4,414, the highest since May 13.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up by $933 at $36,608.

“Delays in Chinese ports due to weather factors and time consuming crew-change procedures resulted in less tonnage available and consequently firmer markets,” shipbroker Fearnleys said on its website, referring to the capesize segment.

Chinese iron ore futures ended down almost 5% at a near four-month low on Thursday, as domestic consumption remained sluggish due to steel production controls. Other steelmaking ingredients on the Dalian bourse were higher.

The panamax index rose 60 points, or 1.8%, to 3,418, the highest since July 27.

Average daily earnings for panamax, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $536 to $30,758.

The supramax index rose 13 points to 2,996.

Source: Reuters