Feb 15 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged higher for a second straight session on Monday, on improved rates for large vessel segments.
The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, rose 4 points or 1.4 percent to 295 points.
The index had on Friday risen for the first time in 2016, having fallen nearly 40 percent during the year so far. It touched an all-time low of 290 points on Wednesday, marking the lowest level since records began in 1985.
The dry bulk market is expected to remain under pressure as a gloomy outlook persists for global shipping demand.
The sector has been particularly hurt by slower Chinese business at a time when the market is struggling with huge vessel overcapacity.
The capesize index was up 5 points at 204 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, gained $23 to $2,721.
The panamax index was up 10 points, or 3.1 percent, at 334 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes climbed $80 to $2,677.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index gained 4 points to 247 points, while the handysize index remained flat at 183 points. (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes)
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