July 17, 2019 / 12:42 PM / 4 months ago

Baltic index extends gains on capesize, panamax demand

July 17 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose on Wednesday, driven by demand for capesize and panamax vessels.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose 2.6%, or 53 points, to 2,064, its highest since January 2014. The index has surged about 60% this year.

* The index extended gains for a seventh straight session, mainly driven by strong demand for vessels that ship iron ore from Brazil.

* A restart of Vale SA’s Brucutu mine in Brazil that was shut in early February after a tailings dam burst, has prompted increased demand from the country.

* The capesize index rose 127 points, or 3.2%, to 4,095 points, its highest since December 2017.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonne-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $916 to $31,073.

* Iron ore shipments to China from Australia’s Port Hedland terminal rose more than 11% in June from a month earlier, port data released on Wednesday showed.

* The panamax index rose 33 points, or 1.6%, to 2,085 points, its highest since December 2013.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $265 to $16,661.

* Tight spot market for capesize vessels has driven iron ore shippers to book panamax vessels, driving rates higher, analysts said.

* The supramax index edged 23 points higher to 928 points. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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