April 5, 2012 / 4:37 PM / 5 years ago

Baltic index turns positive, capesizes support

April 5 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight
index, which tracks rates to ship dry commodities, rose
on Thursday, snapping a two-day losing streak, as rates firmed
for capesize vessels.	
    The overall index, a gauge of the cost of shipping
commodities such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and
fertiliser, rose 2 points or 0.22 percent to 928 points.	
    The Baltic's capesize index climbed 2.17 percent, to
1,507 points.	
    Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically
transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were
up at $6,205, highs not seen since late January.	
    However, earnings are still down more than 77 percent this
year. 	
    The Baltic's panamax index slid 0.67 percent to
1,036 points, with average daily earnings for panamaxes dropping
to $8,277. 	
    Earnings for panamaxes, which usually transport 60,000 to
70,000 tonne cargoes of coal or grains, have fallen 37 percent
this year.	
    Average daily earnings for handysize and supramax ships were
down at $8,305 and $9,928, respectively. 	
    Ship supply is outpacing commodity demand, capping gains for
dry bulk freight rates.	
    The main index, which factors in the average daily earnings
of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport
vessels, is down more than 47 percent this year. 	
	
 (Repoting by Soma Das in Bangalore; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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