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Baltic sea index climbs on higher panamax rates
March 14, 2012 / 4:27 PM / 6 years ago

Baltic sea index climbs on higher panamax rates

By Soma Das	
    March 14 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea
freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry
commodities, rose for the fifteenth straight day on Wednesday as
grain shipments boosted panamax rates.	
    The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping
commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and
fertilisers, rose 11 points or 1.3 percent to 855 points.	
    The Baltic's panamax index rose 1.29 percent, with
average daily earnings for panamaxes up at $7,542.	
    Earnings for panamaxes, which usually transport 60,000 to
70,000 tonne cargoes of coal or grains, have dropped 43 percent
this year.	
    "The Atlantic started to provide much needed support thanks
to re-ignited ECSA market, while the Pacific started ... to
trend sideways, mainly due to the slacking demand from China,"
George Lazaridis of Intermodal Shipbrokers Co said.  	
    The Baltic's capesize index fell by 0.2 percent,
with the average daily earnings for capesizes down at $5,531, a
drop of about 80 percent this year. Capesizes typically
transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal.	
    "It does not help that Sanko are seeking restructuring, a
new cyclone is building up off Western Australia, and the
Atlantic market is still inactive," said broker firm Fearnleys
in its weekly report.	
    Sanko Steamship, one of Japan's oldest shipping firms, is
the latest company to announce it is struggling to make payments
amid a severe downturn in the dry bulk, tanker and container
markets. 	
    Tropical Cyclone Lua is likely to hurtle toward the Western
Australia coast by Thursday morning, as it strengthens to a
Category 2 cyclone, and head southeast toward the east Pilbara
coast, reaching Category 3. 	
    The main index, which factors in the average daily earnings
of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport
vessels, is down more than 51 percent this year. 	
    "With the overcapacity issue having already made its
presence felt in the first two months of 2012, it is anticipated
that the percentage of orders being delayed or cancelled is
likely to accelerate this year, greatly outpacing what was seen
in 2011," Intermodal's Lazaridis said.	
     Average daily earnings for handysize and supramax ships
were up at $7,432 and $9,650, respectively.	
	
 (Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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