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Stronger rates across vessels pushes Baltic index to 5-month high

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose to a five-month peak on Wednesday, due to stronger rates across all vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was up 94 points, or 3%, at 3,189 points, the highest since Dec. 13

The capesize index gained 214 points, or 5.4%, at 4,164 points, also at its five-month high.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $1,777 to $34,531.

However, Chinese iron ore and steel futures tumbled on Wednesday after a two-day rally, as traders were cautious about the risks from COVID-19 curbs that have clouded economic growth prospects in the world’s biggest steel producer.

The panamax index gained 73 points, or 2.2%, at 3,327 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $649 to $29,939.

Taiwan’s MFIG purchasing group bought about 55,000 tonnes of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South Africa in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said.

The supramax index rose 13 points to 2,758 points.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Roshan Abraham in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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