Monday, December 28, 2020

Shipping: "Baltic Index Marks First Yearly Gain in Three"

 From Reuters via MarineLink, December 24:

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index posted its first annual gain in three years on Thursday as iron ore shipments to China bounced higher, despite a hit to shipping activity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, was up 4 points, or 0.3%, at 1,366, its highest level in over eight weeks.

The index firmed by 3.1% this week, marking its third consecutive weekly rise.

For the year, the overall index has gained by 25.3%.

"China forges more steel than the rest of the world combined, and even during this unprecedented pandemic, the nation is set to break a nine-year record with iron ore imports increasing this year to above one billion tonnes," ship broker Intermodal said in a weekly research note.

China's iron ore imports are playing a significant role in seaborne trade dynamics and the capesize freight market in particular, Intermodal said on Tuesday.

The capesize index rose 27 points, or 1.4%, to 2,006, peak since Oct. 28 and posted its second consecutive weekly rise, at 11.3% this week.

The index has firmed about 2.9% this year....