March 18 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, was lifted on Wednesday by higher demand for panamax and smaller vessel segments.
The index, which factors in the average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, was up three points, or 0.53 percent, at 571 points. The index has fallen about 26 percent so far this year.
The panamax index rose nine points, or 1.51 percent, to 604 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry 60,000 to 70,000-tonne cargoes of coal or grains, increased by $67 to $4,837.
The capesize index fell nine points, or 2.46 percent, to 357 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $71 to $3,793.
“That capesizes have been unable to catch a break so far is causing further worries across the (drybulk) market,” Greek broker Intermodal said in a report Tuesday.
Intermodal said that fresh inquiries for capesize vessels were limited across both the Atlantic and Pacific basins and it expects the negative sentiment to continue to have a strong influence on both the paper and physical markets.
The indices for the relatively smaller vessels — handysize and supramax — were up three points at 378 points and seven points at 623 points respectively.
Average daily earnings for supramax vessels rose $65 to $6,511, while earnings for handysize vessels gained $58 to $5,554. (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman)
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