Baltic index rises on higher demand for panamax vessels

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose on Monday helped by stronger rates for panamax and supramax vessels which more than offset a decline in capesize demand.

The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, climbed 62 points, or 3.3%, to 1,956, its highest since late September 2019.

The panamax index rose 4.6%, or 60 points, to 1,376.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $547 to $12,387.

The Baltic capesize index lost 369 points, or 8.3%, to 4,071, hitting its lowest since June 23.

In spite of the fall, average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, rose by $1,078 to $33,760.

“For the past three weeks we have seen high demand for capesize vessels, but now the Atlantic is flooded with ships and that is weighing down on the index,” said an Oslo-based shipping analyst said.

The capesize index has gained more than 127% so far this year on easing virus-led lockdowns in China that boosted demand for iron-ore.

The supramax index inched up 7 points to 708.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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