On back of improving vessel demand, Baltic index reaches two months high

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, reaches a two-month peak on Friday, and marked its second straight weekly rise, on the back of improving demand for capesize and panamax vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, reache it highest since Jan 3, rising 66 points, or 5.8%, to 1,211.

The main index also rose about 37.2% for the week.

Among other vessel segments, the capesize index rose 195 points, or 19.5%, to its highest in more than six weeks, at 1,195. It was up about 88% for the week.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased $1,614 to $9,910.

On Friday, the Dalian iron ore futures hit an eight-month high, on the back of favourable fundamentals and optimism about future steel demand.

Up for the ninth straight session, The panamax index gained 9 points at 1,565. It was up about 23% for the week.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, were up $81 at $14,087.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 3 points to 1,189.