Baltic index edges up on higher panamax, supramax rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index inched higher on Monday, helped by stronger demand for panamax and supramax vessels.

The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 3 points to 1,558, its highest since Dec. 6.

The index on Friday posted its biggest weekly gain ever, underpinned by a rebound in global commodities trading as iron ore demand from China picked up.

The Baltic capesize index fell from a nine-month high by 28 points, or 0.7%, to 3,791.

The index soared 150% last week and has rebounded by 3,743 points after turning negative for the second time this year in May, buoyed by a sharp pick-up in iron ore demand from China.

“The usual metrics suggest that this upturn in (capesize)freight earnings has legs, as China’s demand for ore is buoyant due to restocking and increased infrastructure spending,” said Athens-based EastGate Shipbrokers in a note on Friday.

“Current forecasts point to a healthy ore output from major mines; enough to support the strong Chinese demand and so far we have seen shipments from both Brazil and Australia to have picked up.”

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, decreased $147 to $25,364.

The panamax index gained 26 points, or 2.2%, to 1204.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $237 to $10,840.

The supramax index rose 5 points to 662.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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