The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index touched its highest level in more than seven months on Tuesday, as rates across all vessel segments rose on increasing trading activity.
The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 59 points, or 3.8%, to 1,617, its highest since November 5.
The index has soared more than fourfold after slipping to a low of 393 points in May, when coronavirus-induced lockdowns hammered global trade and vessel demand.
“The still looming threat of a renewed lockdown in Autumn, coupled with a still sluggish paced recovery in the West and continued geopolitical issues, leave for a high-risk potential of a complete derailment of the recovery effort being made,” Allied Shipbroking said in a weekly note on Monday.
Global cases of the novel coronavirus surpassed 9 million on Monday.
The Baltic capesize index rose 185 points, or 4.9%, to 3,976, its highest since September 24.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, rose by $1,308 to $26,672.
The panamax index gained 18 points, or 1.5%, to 1,222.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $157 to $10,997.
The supramax index edged 5 points higher to 667.
(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)