Higher Rates for Smaller Vessels Lift Baltic Index

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 24, 2020

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index edged higher on Monday as gains in the panamax and supramax vessel segments offset lower capesize rates.

The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, rose 9 points to 506 points.

The panamax index climbed 24 points, or 3%, to 811 points, its highest since Jan. 21.

The index registered its 13th straight session of gains.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased $215 to $7,302.

The supramax index rose 19 points to 543.

Meanwhile, the capesize index fell 13 points to -239 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 to 180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, declined by $94 to $2,693.

The coronavirus outbreak has led to a reduction in shipping demand from China as the epidemic has forced authorities to shut factories and mills.

Stockpiles at China's ports fell further to 128.6 million tonnes as of Feb. 21, from 130.65 million tonnes a week earlier, data compiled by SteelHome consultancy showed. 

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru)

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