The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose to its highest level since early January on Thursday, supported by stronger rates across all vessel segments.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, rose 46 points, or about 4.2%, to 1,145, its highest since Jan. 5.
Among other vessel segments, the capesize index (.BACI) rose 71 points, or 7.6%, to its highest in more than six weeks, at 1,000.
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Average daily earnings for capesizes (.BATCA), which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased $593 to $8,296.
Dalian coking coal futures scaled an eight-month peak on Thursday as a large-scale coal mine collapse in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region prompted safety checks, fanning fears of supply tightness.
The panamax index (.BPNI), up for the eighth straight session, gained 41 points, or about 2.7%, at 1,556.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes (.BPWT), which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, were up $372 at $14,006.
“Solid demand from South America for March and April along with the Indonesian market showing strong demand for the smaller Panamax types was buoying the segment,” shipbroker Fearnleys wrote in a weekly report.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index (.BSIS) rose 36 points to 1,192.