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Baltic index edges up as capesize rates hit 3-week peak

July 24, 2022 INTERTANKO

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged up on Thursday as capesize rates hit a three-week peak and offset weakness in the panamax and supramax segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was up 8 points, or 0.4%, at 2,010 points.

The capesize index gained 123 points, or 5.3%, to 2,457 points, its highest since June 21.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $1,017 at $20,375.

Shares of Australian coal miners jumped after a Chinese news site said that talk of China ending its unofficial ban on Australian coal imports had recently intensified, while Bloomberg reported that Chinese officials were proposing to end the ban on supply concerns due to sanctions on Russia.

The panamax index was down for a 18th straight session, shedding 88 points, or 4.4%, to 1,920 points, its lowest since Feb. 7.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased by $795 to $17,280.

Major wheat exporter Argentina’s harvest of the grain for the 2022/23 season is expected to be lower than previously estimated, the Rosario Grains Exchange said on Wednesday, due to a drop in the estimated planting area because of a drought in agricultural areas.

The supramax index fell by 27 points to a fresh five-month low of 2,050 points, registering its 16th straight decline.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru)