Sept 24 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index jumped to a more than two-month high on Thursday as strong iron-ore shipments out of Australia and Brazil boosted demand for capesize vessels.
* The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, jumped 179 points, or 12.6%, to 1,605 points, its highest since July 20.
* The capesize index soared 512 points, or 22.8%, to 2,754 points, rising for a fourth straight session and hitting its highest level in more than two months.
* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $4,249 at $22,841.
* “Demand for capesize business carrying iron ore out of Australia, but in particular out of Brazil in recent weeks has gradually pushed rates higher,” said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO.
* “It’s (iron ore) demand coming from China that lifts the market – all other destinations are still in recovery mode.”
* China’s iron ore imports have picked up in the recent weeks, driven by resilient demand as the economy bounced back after disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic.
* The panamax index was up 22 points, or 1.6%, at 1,361 points, marking its seventh straight session of gains.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $200 to $12,247.
* Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 12 points to 983 points. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Maju Samuel)
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