The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose on Wednesday to scale its highest in more than three months, on higher rates for capesize and panamax vessel segments.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels carrying dry bulk commodities, gained 4 points to 1,020 – hitting its highest level since March 1.
The capesize index was up 4 points, to its highest in three months at 1,387.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes for commodities such as iron ore and coal, increased $33 to $11,503.
“Chinese steel production will remain constrained for the rest of the year providing the much needed support to Capesize freight market momentum,” shipbroker Intermodal said in a note on Tuesday.
“Iron ore is the primary component of steel production, when prices are low, demand tends to increase.”
The panamax index added 31 points, or about 2.8%, to 1,139.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $279 to $10,252.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 15 points or about 2% to 766.
Benchmark iron ore futures were little changed after hovering near seven-week high earlier, as traders assessed the prospects of additional stimulus from top steel producer China.