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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Baltic Index Gains on Robust Capesize Rates

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 15, 2017

© EvrenKalinbacak / Adobe Stock

© EvrenKalinbacak / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, jumped to a more-than-three-month high on Wednesday, as rates for capesize vessels soared.

The overall index, which also factors in rates for panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, ended up 35 points, or 3.15 percent, at 1,147 points, its highest since Dec. 7.

The capesize index increased 207 points, or 10.73 percent, to close at 2,136 points, its biggest gain since early December.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose to its highest level since Nov. 24, by $1,514 to $15,764.

Iron ore futures in China surged more than 5 percent on Wednesday as steel prices rose to their strongest in more than three years on hopes of firm demand as Beijing spurs infrastructure spending and property sales rise.

The panamax index decreased 35 points, or 2.95 percent, to close at 1,150 points.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $279 to $9,248.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index remained unchanged at 877 points, while the handysize index climbed 3 points to close at 505 points.
(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru)
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