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Baltic index jumps 8% on higher demand for capesize vessels

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index gained 8% to its highest in nearly three months on Thursday, as an increase in iron-ore demand from China boosted rates for capesize vessels.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax shipping vessels tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, was up 144 points, or 8.3%, at 1,869 points, its highest since July 7.

The capesize index gained 446 points, or 14.4%, to its highest level since July 8 to 3,537 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $3,701 at $29,332.

“Capesizes, being to a great degree iron ore carriers, have benefited significantly from China’s buying spree of the commodity,” Athens-based EastGate Shipbrokers said in a note dated Sept. 30.

“Since China is in need of high-quality iron ore which is imported from overseas, we expect the strong ore demand to support the freight rates for capesizes going forward.”

The panamax index was down 10 points, or 0.7%, at 1,364 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $92 to $12,275.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 3 points to 992 points.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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