Baltic index scales near three-month peak on demand for smaller vessels

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose to its highest level in nearly three months on Thursday, propelled by gains in smaller panamax and supramax vessels.

  • The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels carrying dry bulk commodities, increased 14 points to 1,247, its highest since May 24.
  • The panamax index gained 36 points, or 2.4%, to 1,522, continuing a 17-day winning streak.
  • Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose by $328 to $13,702.
  • The Panama Canal Authority on Wednesday notified shippers it is extending through Sept. 2 restrictions for vessels to transit through the waterway and keeping the number of vessels authorized to pass per day to a maximum of 32.
  • “The South Atlantic’s demand remains robust in September, with owners in the European community shipowners’ associations, confident in asking prices above previous rates,” shipbroker Fearnleys said in a weekly note, referring to the panamax segment.
  • The supramax index rose 47 points, or 5.8%, to 859.
  • The capesize index, meanwhile, fell 36 points, or 2.1% to 1,665, snapping a two-day gaining streak.
  • Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, fell $297 to $13,809.
  • Dalian iron ore futures climbed to the highest in over three weeks, underpinned by renewed hopes of more policy support from China, following a cabinet meeting.

Source: Reuters

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