Strong vessel demand drives Baltic index to over 11-week high

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The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose to an over 11-week high on Monday, propelled by stronger rates across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was up 41 points, or about 2.9%, at 1,465 – its highest since Dec. 23.

The capesize index gained 77 points, or about 4.4%, to a more than 11-week high of 1,821.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased $633 to $15,099.

Iron ore futures climbed on Monday as improving profitability of steel mills and demand outlook in top steel producer China lifted sentiment, although regulatory concerns capped gains.

The panamax index rose 26 points, or about 1.6%, to a near four-month high of 1,680.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $237 to $15,121.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was up 26 points at 1,225.

Source: Reuters

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