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Baltic index extends gains on higher panamax rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose for the seventh straight session on Thursday, driven by demand for panamax vessel cargoes for grain shipments in the Atlantic.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 25 points, or 1.74 percent, at 1,458 points.

The panamax index jumped 52 points, or 3.46 percent, to 1,556 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose $415 to $12,501, its highest since April 19.

“The Panamax segment has seen an uptick in activity, particularly in the longer haul Atlantic grain trade, driving global averages higher. Dry forward freight agreements are also gaining further momentum for the class,” Clarksons Platou Securities analysts said in a client note.

The capesize index fell by 23 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 2,859 points, falling for the fourth straight session.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $18 at $19,893.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 30 points to end at 1,050 points, while the handysize index increased 12 points to close at 635 points, its highest since April 2014.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D’Couto)

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