The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index gained for the fifth consecutive session to hit an 18-month peak on Wednesday as rates climbed across vessel segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, gained 305 points, or 12.8%, to 2,696 – its highest level since May 2022.

The capesize index advanced to a near two-year high, adding 861 points, or 20.6% to 5,040. * Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, gained $7,140 to $41,796.

“Iron ore has seen the most significant increase this month…. The majority of these exports are being transported by capesize vessels,” shipbroker Intermodal wrote in a weekly note dated Tuesday.

The impact of the Panama Canal restrictions has also been evident in the dry bulk sector.”

The Panama Canal, one of the world’s main maritime trade routes, announced on Friday it is launching a special auction slot on Saturday, as it battles a severe drought that has forced it to reduce daily ship crossings.

The panamax index rose 25 points, or 1.2%, to 2,131 – its highest level in more than a year.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, gained $233 to $19,183.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News