Baltic index rises on increased Pacific, Atlantic activity

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index , tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, extended its gains, rising for the ninth straight session, driven by increased activity in the Pacific and Atlantic regions.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 38 points, or 2.56 percent, at 1,523 points, its highest since March 2014.

“The dry bulk market is off to a strong start this week in both the physical and paper markets, driven by a significant bump of activity in the Pacific regions,” Clarksons Platou Securities analysts said in a client note.

The capesize index was up by 109 points, or 3.8 percent, to close at 2,980 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $924 at $20,971.

The panamax index was also up for a ninth consecutive session, with 31 points, or 1.93 percent, to 1,637 points, its highest since January 2014, driven by demand for grain cargoes in the Atlantic.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose $245 to $13,150, the highest since January 2014.

“We continue to believe the dry bulk shipping market is likely to remain firm in the coming months due to stable supply-demand fundamentals,” Jefferies said in a client note.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 13 points to end at 1,082 points, while the handysize index increased 7 points to close at 656 points, its highest since March 2014.

Source: Reuters

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