Dec 8 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities was unchanged on Tuesday, as rising demand for capesize or large vessels typically carrying iron ore and coal was countered by falling demand elsewhere.
The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping cargoes including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser and is seen by investors as an indicator of global industrial activity, was flat at 551 points.
The index has lost half of its value since hitting a year’s high of 1,162 in August, as the dry cargo shipping industry was squeezed by a global commodities downturn and a wave of ship deliveries, with more vessels expected to become operational in coming months.
The capesize index rose 18 points, or 2.11 percent, to 870 points, as average daily earnings for capesize vessels rose $87 to $7,609. Capesizes typically transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal.
The panamax index, for ships that usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, dropped six points, or 1.41 percent, to 420 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes fell by $44 to $3,360.
Among smaller vessels, the handysize index remained unchanged at 286 points, and the supramax index fell four points to 461 points. (Reporting by Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes)