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Strong iron ore, coal fixtures drive Baltic index
Oct 11 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry commodities, rose on Thursday on increased demand for coal and iron ore fixtures.
The overall index, which reflects daily freight market prices for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, rose 3.2 percent to 903 points.
The Baltic's capesize index rose 3.27 percent to 1,833 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which usually transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $517 at $10,371.
Capesize rates are expected to rebound due to the late September surge in Chinese iron ore fixtures, Commodore Research said in its report.
Shanghai steel futures fell more than 1 percent on Thursday after a 3-day climb as the outlook for Chinese demand remained hazy despite recent gains in prices, while iron ore hit its highest since July as mills continued to replenish stockpiles.
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 panamax index rose 7.53 percent to 843 points, with average daily earnings up $472 at $6,716.
Panamaxes typically transport 60,000-70,000-tonne cargoes of coal or grain.
Chinese and Indian thermal coal fixture volume has continued to increase and has allowed panamax rates to find continued support this week, Commodore Research said.
Average daily earnings for handysize ships were up $17 to$6,535, while those of supramax ships were down $34 at $8,192. (Reporting by NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
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