February 6, 2018 / 2:38 PM / 2 months ago

Baltic index posts first gain in seven sessions

Feb 6 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose for the first time in seven sessions on Tuesday, following a rebound in capesize rates.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, edged up 13 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,095 points.

* The capesize index snapped its five-session losing streak and climbed 86 points, or 6 percent, to 1,519 points. It touched its lowest in more than six months on Monday.

* “We’re seeing a positive reversal in the capesize dry bulk market today driven by a flurry of activity in the Pacific markets as a coal restock in China begins to take shape,” said analysts at shipbroker Clarksons Platou Securities.

* “With the Chinese New Year around the corner, domestic coal production is expected to decline, increasing reliance on imports to alleviate thermal supply shortages.”

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $795 at $11,984.

* Chinese iron ore futures edged higher alongside steel prices on Tuesday, with most steel producers done with replenishing stocks ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

* The panamax index fell for the seventh session and was down 23 points, or 1.72 percent, at 1,316 points.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, declined $183 to $10,555.

* Among smaller vessels, the supramax index shed 8 points to 857 points, and the handysize index lost 5 points to 538 points. (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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