Dec 24 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged higher on Thursday primarily on improved rates for large vessels.
The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping cargoes including iron ore, cement, grain and coal, gained three points, or 0.63 percent, to 478 points.
The index hit an all-time low of 471 points on Dec. 16, the lowest in records that date back to January 1985.
Chinese imports of coal and iron ore have remained weak in recent months and worries over the health of the global economy have also dented dry bulk shipping prospects.
The panamax index gained 5 points, or 1.09 percent, at 462 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose $41 to $3,692.
The capesize index, was up one point at 470 points, as average daily earnings increased by $68 to $4,965. Capesizes typically transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal. (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely)
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