Baltic index at 3-1/2-year high, gaining with capesize rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index that tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, finished higher on Tuesday, as rates for capesize vessels increased.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, rose 2 points, or 0.13 percent, to finish at 1,588 points, its highest in about three-and-a-half-years.

“In the dry bulk market, rates have remained relatively stable thus far into the week, supported by sustained activity levels,” Clarksons Platou Securities analysts said in a client note.

The capesize index rose 15 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 3,202 points, the highest level since November 2014.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $126 at $22,515, also a near three-year peak.

The panamax index fell 16 points, or nearly 1 percent, to close at 1,626 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell $126 to $13,091.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 2 points to end at 1,130 points. The handysize index was up 4 points to close at 687 points.

Source: Reuters

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