Baltic sea freight index firms on panamax strength

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index firmed on Wednesday as a jump in rates for the panamax segment offset declines in larger capesizes.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, and supramax shipping vessels, was up 19 points, or about 1.7%, at 1,133 points.

The capesize index fell by 72 points, or about 10%, to 656 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as coal and steel-making ingredient iron-ore used in construction, fell by $595 to $5,442.

Meanwhile, China’s coal imports rose in August to their highest this year, as power generators sought additional supplies from abroad to meet surging electricity demand amid the baking temperatures of a heatwave.

The panamax index was up for the fifth consecutive session, gaining 164 points, or 11.6%, at 1,577 points, marking its biggest gain in nine months.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, was up $1481 to $14,196.

Top exporter Brazil’s corn exports were seen higher in September compared with the same period last year.

The supramax index, which has not seen a single day of gains since two weeks, lost 5 points to 1,482.

Source: Reuters