Dry Bulk

Baltic overall index rises to two-week high on higher capesize rates


The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index which measures the cost of shipping goods worldwide, hit a two-week peak on Thursday (Sept. 8), surging about 5.6% helped by a jump in capesize vessel rates.

The capesize index, which tracks vessels typically transporting 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, jumped 155 points, or nearly 15%, to 1,189.

“Volumes remain consistent for mid-late September C5, East Australia, and Pacific business, contributing to a slight improvement in optimism. Also, a slight improvement in volumes on South Africa and India business,” shipbroker Fearnleys noted.

At the same time, the panamax index, which tracks ships that usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, gained 7 points to 1,473. The supramax index, rose 20 points, or 1.9%, to 1,056 points.

Supramax are medium-sized vessels with a carrying capacity between 48,000 and 60,000 DWT. Because of their smaller size, Supramax vessels can enter and exit smaller ports. Supramaxes are also referred to as Handymaxes (or Handysize).

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, gained 60 points, or 5.6%, to 1,141, the highest since Aug. 23.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels increased by $1,290 to $9,863 while for panamax vessels, rose by $63 to $13,255.

With reporting by Reuters