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Baltic index hits over 1-month high on sturdy vessel rates

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LONDON : The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index extended gains for an eighth straight session to touch 1-1/2 month peak on Tuesday, buoyed by climbing rates across all segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was up 28 points, or 1.5%, at 1,899 points, its highest since Jan. 8.

The capesize index gained 61 points, or 1.9%, to 3,224.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels ATCA, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased by $504 to $26,737.

Iron ore futures rebounded, supported by hopes of demand recovery in top consumer China and a potential export tax on Indian low-grade iron ore, although lower steel production in the near-term capped gains.

The panamax index gained for the first time in five sessions, adding 3 points to 1,581 points.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, was up $24 at $14,225.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose for a tenth straight session, gaining 22 points to 1,220 points.

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