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Capesize strength steers Baltic index to 13-year peak

The Baltic Exchange’s main dry bulk sea freight index extended its rally to a fresh 13-year peak on Thursday, as solid demand powered capesizes to their highest since 2008.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, rose 3 points, or 0.1%, to 5,650, its highest since September 2008.

The capesize segment added 10 points, or 0.1%, to 10,485, a more than 13-year high.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased $83 to $86,953.

The massive push in the capesize segment has come “from an impressive increase in the Atlantic basin and backhaul segment,” ship broker Fearnleys said in a weekly note on Wednesday.

The supramax index rose 16 points to 3,404, its highest in over one month.

The panamax index, meanwhile, fell 19 points, or 0.5%, to 3,884, its lowest in three weeks.

Despite the “rush in capesize rates,” the Golden Week holiday in China has led to a slow week for panamaxes, Fearnleys said in the note, with less demand also seen in the Atlantic, coupled with slipping rates in the eastern hemisphere.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000 tonne to 70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, decreased $177 $34,953.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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