Sept 4 (Reuters) – The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which gauges the cost of shipping commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, jumped as increased Chinese demand for iron ore boosted rates for bigger vessels.
* The overall index, which factors in the average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, soared 47 points or 4.02 percent to 1,215 points.
* The Baltic’s capesize index surged 101 points or 4.31 percent to 2,445 points, a more than 10-month high.
“In recent weeks, increased Chinese demand for iron ore has boosted capesize spot rates to year-to-date highs,” GHS Research analyst Omar Nokta said in a note.
* “Upcoming U.S. grains export season should bolster dry bulk trade further,” he added.
* Capesize rates are expected to reach two-year highs by November, RS Platou Markets analyst Frode MÃ¸rkedal said in a note.
* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which usually transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $1,517 at $17,854.
* The Baltic’s panamax index, rose 12 points or 1.3 percent to 933 points.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually transport 60,000 to 70,000 tonne cargoes of coal or grain, were up $103 at $7,456.
* “The dry bulk market continues to be the fastest growing shipping segment in our view, outpacing LPG, LNG, crude, product or containers,” Nokta said. (Reporting by Shrutee Sarkar in Bangalore; editing by Jane Baird)
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