2021 April 16
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose to its highest level since September 2019 on Thursday as demand strengthened across vessel segments.
The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 145 points, or 6.7%, to 2,323, its highest since Sept. 12, 2019.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes of coal and steel-making ingredient iron ore, rose $1,925 to $28,056.
China's iron ore futures rose as much as 4.4% on Thursday staging a recovery from the previous session on a big spread between spot cargoes and futures and demand for the steelmaking ingredient strengthened.
"Big ships doing well. Main driver being continued solid steel and iron ore margins, and major miners are busy covering slots by the dozen to meet industry demand," ship broker Fearnleys said about capesizes in a weekly note on Wednesday.
The lion's share has been West Australia, "but Brazil is again picking up speed" Fearnleys said.
The panamax index climbed 217 points, or 10.8%, to 2,234, a high since April 7.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,00 tonnes, were up $1,953 at $20,110.
The supramax index rose 28 points to 1,811.