Baltic Dry Index records best month in two years

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The Baltic Exchange’s main ocean freight index, which tracks rates for vessels carrying dry bulk cargo, rose on Friday and recorded its best month in 2 years, propelled by a corresponding increase in capesize and panamax demand.

The headline index, which takes into account capesize, panamax and supramax carrier ship rates, ended its long four-session streak to gain 3 points to 1,760. It jumped around 82.4% for the month, its best since June 2020.

However, the main index registered a second consecutive quarterly decline, losing 21.4%.

The Capesize index also ended a four-day losing streak and added 1 point to 1,955. For the month, it climbed 547%, posting its best performance since June 2020.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically carry 150,000-tonne cargo such as coal and steelmaking iron ore used in construction, rose by $12 to $16,214.

Capesizes still lost around 20% for the quarter, in part due to lower demand from China’s major steel producer amid COVID-19 lockdowns during the period.

Dalian and Singapore iron ore posted their second quarterly losses, despite some gains on Friday, as concerns over a strict zero-COVID policy and jitters in China’s property sector continued to dominate markets.

The panamax index rose 19 points, or around 1%, to 2,082. It rose 71% in its best month since September 2013.

However, it also saw its second straight quarterly decline of around 16.2%.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which typically carry coal or grain cargoes of around 60,000 to 70,000 tons, rose by $175 to $18,742.

The supramax index fell 11 points to 1,663.

(Reuters – Reporting by Harshit Verma; Editing by Uttaresh.V)

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