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Baltic index gains for sixth session as capesize rates jump

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index on Tuesday extended gains for a sixth straight session as demand for capesize vessels shipping iron ore surged.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose 4.3%, or 83 points, to 2,011, its highest since January 2014. The index has surged about 60% this year.

* The index extended gains for a sixth straight session, mainly driven by strong demand for vessels that ship iron ore from Brazil.

* A restart of Vale SA’s Brucutu mine in Brazil in June, which was shut in early February after a tailings dam burst killing more than 240 people, has prompted increased demand from the country.

* The capesize index rose 244 points, or 6.6%, to 3,968 points, its highest since December, 2017.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonne-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $1,578 to $30,157.

* China’s daily crude steel output rose to record levels in June, according to Reuters calculations, even as anti-pollution restrictions pushed whole-month production slightly lower.

* The panamax index rose 60 points, or 3%, to 2,052 points, its highest since December 2013.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $477 to $16,396.

* Tight spot market for capesize vessels has driven iron ore shippers to book panamax vessels, driving rates higher, analysts said.

The supramax index edged 17 points higher to 905 points.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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