Baltic Sea Freight Index Posts Weekly Gain as Capesize Rates Jump
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, logged its first weekly gain since mid-June, as a jump in capesize rates outweighed declines in other vessel segments.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was up 140 points, or nearly 7%, at 2,150 points, its highest since July 4. It rose 4% for the week.
The capesize index rose 462 points, or 18.8%, to 2,919 points, its highest since June 20. The index gained 29% for the week.
The capesize sector is witnessing modest strength, driven mainly by iron ore exports from Brazil, underpinning the Baltic index, said Yiannis Parganas, research analyst at Intermodal.
There is also demand for coal from Colombia and South Africa in Europe, and this helps the dry bulk market, as it translates into earning of around $20,000, which is very good,” he added.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $3,834 at $24,209.
China’s daily coal output in June rose 6.6% from the previous month as miners cranked up output ahead of peak summer, while the world’s biggest iron ore producer Rio Tinto reported a 4.7% jump in second-quarter iron ore shipments.
The panamax index was down 35 points, or 1.8%, at 1,885 points, its lowest since Feb. 7.
Down 15.2%, the panamax index had its worst week since Jan. 21 and logged its fourth straight weekly fall.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $311 to $16,969.
The supramax index fell by 11 points to a new five-month low of 2,039 points, registering its eighth consecutive weekly decline.