Baltic Index Inches Up on Rising Capesize Rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index edged up on Friday, helped by rising rates for capesize vessels.

The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 11 points, or about 0.6%, to 1,710.

The Baltic capesize index rose 54 points, or 1.8%, to 3,025.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, was up by $446 at $25,085.

Rising demand for iron ore from China, as the world’s second-largest economy gradually opens up for business after months of virus-led lockdowns, has helped the capesize segment to gain 55% so far this year.

China’s iron ore imports jumped to a 33-month high in June, customs data showed on Tuesday, fueled by rising shipments from miners and by robust demand from steel mills in the country.

The world’s largest iron ore miner Rio Tinto said conditions in China had improved across the second quarter and appeared to be stabilizing, with construction and infrastructure sectors performing well.

The panamax index was down 40 points, or 2.6%, at 1,504, its lowest since July 7.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell by $366 to $13,532.

However, the supramax index rose 11 points, or 1.2%, to 910.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri; Editing by Milla Nissi)

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