Smaller vessels bump up ocean freight index

Reuters — The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, marginally rose on Friday on improved rates for smaller vessels.

The overall Baltic Dry Index (BDI), which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer, rose for the sixth consecutive session by two points or 0.64 per cent, to 315 points.

The index touched an all-time low of 290 points on Feb. 10, marking the lowest level since records began in 1985.

The dry bulk market is expected to remain under pressure as a gloomy outlook for global demand persists.

The capesize index slipped 13 points, or 5.91 per cent, to 207 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, dropped US$130 to $2,642.

The panamax index slipped three points, or 0.84 per cent, to 355 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes fell $30, to $2,844.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 16 points, to 286, while the handysize index was up five points at 198.

Reporting for Reuters by Nithin Prasad in Bangalore.

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