Robust capesize demand propels Baltic dry bulk index to 13-year peak

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The Baltic Exchange’s main dry bulk sea freight index rose to its highest in 13 years on Wednesday on higher rates for all vessels, with the capesize segment soaring to its highest level since 2008.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, jumped 235 points, or 4.7%, to 5,197, its highest since September 2008.

The main index mirrored a jump in capesizes, with the index advancing 696 points, or 8.4%, to 9,018, also the highest in 13 years.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $5,773 to $74,786.

“The increasing number of spot fixtures from the world’s largest iron ore exporters are clearly providing a boost to the dry bulk sector, in particular to the capesize market, as iron ore exports from Brazil and Australia represent the lion’s share of total capesize demand,” BIMCO’s chief shipping analyst Peter Sand said in a note.

Congestion around China and the approach of the traditionally strongest period of the year for the dry bulk sector will keep spot freight rates high until at least end-2021, Sand added.

The panamax index rose 7 points, or 0.2%, to 4,037, its highest since July 12.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, increased $64 to $36,335.

The supramax index rose 6 points to 3,379.

Source: Reuters