Baltic index ticks up as higher capesize rates offset dip in smaller vessels

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index edged up on Wednesday as higher rates for capesizes outweighed declines in smaller vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels carrying dry bulk commodities, rose 26 points or about 1.7% to 1,536 – its highest in almost three weeks.

The capesize index gained 114 points, or 5.7%, to its highest since mid-March of 2,100.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, rose $948 to $17,419.

Increased iron ore prices in Australia helped drive the capesize index higher, shipbroker Intermodal said in a weekly note.

The panamax index fell 27 points, or 1.6%, to 1,640 – its lowest since March-end.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $240 to $14,761.

“Panamax market activity was steady with tight supply in the Atlantic underpinning sentiment,” added Intermodal.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index down 13 points at 1,203.

Iron ore futures were mixed with prices in Singapore rebounding modestly, while its Dalian benchmark extended losses after a China steel industry group urged producers to curb output to keep themselves afloat.

Source: Reuters

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