Aug 23 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Friday as Chinese demand for iron ore pushed capesize rates to a nine-month high.
* The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilisers, rose 7 points to 1,165 points. The index has risen about 17 percent in the past two weeks.
* The capesize index rose 28 points, or 1.23 percent, to 2,312 points.
* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $194 to $16,533, highs not seen since November 2012.
* The Baltic’s panamax index fell 1 point, or 0.11 percent, to 903 points.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes between 60,000 and 70,000 tonnes, were down $8 to $7,207.
* Iron ore shipments account for around one third of seaborne volumes on the larger capesizes, and brokers look to iron ore prices as one indicator of demand for dry freight.
* Shanghai steel futures rebounded on Friday after a three-day slide, backed by expectations a stabilising Chinese economy would boost demand in the world’s top consumer as mills keep output high ahead of the peak consumption season. (Reporting by NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; editing by Jane Baird)
© 2013 Thomson Reuters.