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Baltic index hits three-week high on higher vessel rates

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, extended its gain on Wednesday to mark its highest level in three weeks, supported by higher capesize and panamax rates.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, rose 39 points, or 2.15%, to 1,852, its highest level since May 15.

The capesize index gained 106 points, or 3.73%, to 2,945, reaching its highest level since May 13.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-ton cargoes of iron ore and coal, among others, increased $879 to $24,424.

The dry bulk market presented a mixed performance last week, with capesize owners experiencing a surge, particularly in the Pacific region. In contrast, the Panamax and Supramax sectors recorded low demand, Intermodal Research analyst Chara Georgousi said in a weekly note on Tuesday.

Iron ore futures extended their decline to a fifth straight session, hitting a seven-week trough, pressured by faltering steel demand and expectations of higher shipments to top consumer China in June.

The panamax index snapped a seven-session losing streak and climbed 23 points, or 1.4%, at 1,702.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, rose $205 to $15,317.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell by 7 points, or 0.6%, to 1,258, marking its lowest level since April 8.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Anmol Choubey in Bengaluru; Editing by Ravi Prakash Kumar)

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