Baltic index scales over 9-month high on capesize surge

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose to its highest in over 9-months on Tuesday, steered by strong gains in capesize rate.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, rose 80 points, or about 5.0%, to 1,694, its highest level since late December.

The capesize index added 246 points, or 11.5% to 2,394, its best day since Sept. 7.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, increased $2,045 to $19,855.

The increase in fixing activity in the capesize segment out of Australia gave considerable support, shipbroker Allied wrote in a weekly note.

The panamax index gained 9 points, to 1,1694.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes of coal or grain cargo, increased $76 to $15,244.

Iron ore prices continued to fall as investors booked profits ahead of the forthcoming Chinese holidays, and demand worries increased due to sluggish restocking and impending steel output curbs in the second-largest economy in the world.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index extended losses by shedding 15 points or 1.1% to 1,339.

A cargo vessel set off from a Ukrainian Black Sea port on Tuesday after loading but remained close to the port, an industry source said, without giving any further details.

Source: Reuters

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