Baltic Dry Index Continues Rise But Capesizes Hit New All-Time Low

capesize bulk carrier
Photo (c) Shutterstock/tcly

Reuters

March 2 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose further on Wednesday, on improved rates for panamaxes and smaller vessels.

The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser rose three points to 335 points.

The index has lost about 97 percent of its value from a peak of 11,793 in May 2008, but has slightly recovered after touching an all-time low of 290 points on Feb. 10.

The capesize index shed three points to 171 points, touching a new all-time low.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $36 to $2,291.

The dry bulk market is expected to remain under pressure due to weak demand for commodities, particularly from top global importer China.

The dry cargo market reached its lowest point in 2015 and will not recover this year under the weight of overcapacity and the Chinese economy’s transition away from an industrial economy, Danish shipping company D/S Norden said on Wednesday.

The panamax index rose seven points to 364 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose $51 to $2,920.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index gained five points to 350 points, while the handysize index inched up three points to 220 points. (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru)

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