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Baltic index posts best quarter in nine on robust vessel demand

The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, recorded its best quarter in nine on Friday, helped by stronger demand for all vessel segments.

The main index has gained about 57% for the month, its best since September 2022, and also registered a quarterly gain of 56%, having fallen the previous five quarters.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, edged down 15 points, or to 1,701.

The capesize index slipped by 19 points, to 2,474, but posted its second straight quarterly gain at 45.2% – its best since September 2021.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transports 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased $155 to $20,520.

Iron ore futures rose, helped by higher hot metal output data, even as traders preferred to take a watchful stance ahead of the upcoming holiday break in top consumer China starting from Sept. 29.

The panamax index shed 8 points to 1,701 but has gained 65% for the quarter, its biggest gain in more than 2-1/2 years.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carries coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, declined $79 at $15,305.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index lost 18 points, or 1.4%, to 1,276.

Chinese importers are believed to have made large purchases of animal feed corn from Ukraine in the past two weeks, traders in Asia and Europe said on Thursday, providing a boost for the war-ravaged country from an unlikely source.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Daksh Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)

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