Baltic index rises on strong capesize, supramax demand

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Tuesday, aided by higher rates for capesize and supramax vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, gained 40 points, or 2.6%, to its highest in eight weeks at 1,598.

The capesize index was up 125 points, or 5.2%, at 2,509 — its highest since Dec. 22.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, increased $1,039 to $20,807.

“Capesize rates continue to push higher, somewhat under the radar, and bucking the trend of the broader steel and iron ore markets,” brokerage Jefferies wrote in a note dated Tuesday.

Dalian iron ore futures extended gains on hopes of additional policy support for China’s economy, but the challenging outlook for the world’s top steel producer weighed on the steelmaking ingredient’s benchmark price in Singapore.

The panamax index slipped 7 points to 1,494 — its lowest since Feb. 28.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, lost $62 to $13,450.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index (.BSIS) snapped its seven-session losing streak; added 1 point at 1,097.

Source: Reuters

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