Baltic index snaps 14-session losing streak as capesize rates gain

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The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index snapped a 14-session losing streak on Thursday, as gains in capesize rates outweighed losses in the panamax and supramax segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, edged 6 points higher to 1,302.

The capesize index gained 116 points, or 16.5%, to 818, crawling up from a 1-1/2 year low.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose by $954 to $6,780.

Dalian iron ore prices rose on Thursday on hopes of robust demand for the steelmaking ingredient in China when steel production curbs are eased after next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics.

“Most of the pressure been on short duration as owners hesitate to sell current levels for a longer time and there is a lot of faith in the forward market,” shipbroker Fearnleys said in a weekly note, referring to the capesize segment.

“Another dimension is that Chinese New Year is coming up and its very quiet, and the owners with available tonnage just want to get their vessels employed as ‘nothing’ happening.”

The panamax index fell 68 points, or 3.6%, to 1,846, its lowest since April.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, fell by $609 to $16,615.

The supramax index dipped 41 points to its lowest level since February 2021 at 1,613.

Source: Reuters