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Consistent gains for Baltic sea freight index

Global – A sharp increase in Capesize rates resulted in the Baltic Exchange’€™s main sea freight index increasing for a fourth consecutive day on September 20, gaining a total of 7.7%.

The average daily earnings for Capesizes, which typically transport 150 000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, climbed around 18% to make up around US$ 6970.

‘€˜Finally, (Capesize) activity and rates picked up pretty good, as rates for west Australia to China improved,’€™ Norway-based shipbroker Fearnleys observes in its weekly note. It adds that shipments of iron ore now account for about a third of seaborne volumes on the larger Capesizes, with price developments remaining a key factor for dry freight.

Meanwhile, iron ore prices have witnessed a rebound from their lowest level in nearly three years. This development is thought to be linked mostly to a boost in steel demand brought on by the Beijing government’€™s approval of more than US$ 150 billion in projects to build highways, ports and airport runways.

There was a surge in price offers for imported iron ore cargoes in China as sellers were anxious to unload tonnage at better prices after many suffered losses during a market rout over the past two months.

According to Fearnleys, the overall index – which gauges the cost of shipping commodities – has fallen around 57% thus far in 2012.

Source: Reuters.

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