Baltic index rise on higher capesize rates

Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:21pm EDT

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Aug 27 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight
index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry
commodities, rose on Monday, as higher capesize rates offset the
softer panamax rates.
    The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping
commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and
fertilizer, rose 2 points or 0.28 percent to 717 points.   
    The main index, which factors in the average daily earnings
of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport
vessels, has fallen about 59 percent this year.
    "We do not expect any major changes to the freight
environment this week and thus see the market lingering at
loss-making levels," Arctic Securities analyst Erik Nikolai
Stavseth said in a note to clients.
    "Limited opportunities in the spot market and limited
activity in the period market is pushing owners to make
short-term deals at extremely low levels." 
    The Baltic's capesize index climbed 21 points or 1.9
percent to 1,124 points. 
    Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically
transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were
up $126 at $2,927. 
     Iron ore prices have fallen more than 33 percent from this
year's peak, but traders said Chinese steel mills, the world's
biggest buyers, were waiting for prices to decline further with
no signs that China's steel demand will recover anytime soon.
 
    Iron ore shipments account for around a third of seaborne
volumes on the larger capesizes, and brokers said price
developments remained a key factor for dry freight. 
    The Baltic's panamax index fell 1.43 percent to 828
points on Monday, with average daily earnings down $99 at
$6,586. 
    Earnings for panamaxes, which usually transport 60,000 to
70,000 tonne cargoes of coal or grains, have dropped about 50
percent this year. 
    Average daily earnings for handysize ships were down $43 at
$6,858, while that of supramax ships were up $87 at $8,918. 
    

 (Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore, editing by William
Hardy)
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