Baltic index up as capesize rates soar


The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Thursday as rates for capesize vessels surged higher, backed by stronger rates for other vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 50 points, or 6.2 percent, its biggest intra-day percentage change in over 3 months, to close at 856 points.

The capesize index jumped 183 points, or 19.24 percent to end at 1,134 points.

“The market has increased a lot in the Pacific as the West Australia-China route finally woke up after the Chinese New Year,” Norwegian ship broker Fearnley said in a note on Wednesday.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $1,386 at $9,094.

The panamax index rose 19 points, or 2.09 percent, to 927 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $151 to $7,446.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 14 points to 797 points, while the handysize index rose 10 points to 420 points.

Source: Reuters 

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