The Baltic Exchange s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Wednesday, helped by stronger demand for panamaxes and smaller vessels. The overall index that gauges the cost of shipping cargoes including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, was up 10 points, or 2.73 percent, to 376 points. The panamax index rose 25 points, or, 5.92 percent to 447 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, climbed $200 to $3,593. Among smaller vessels, the supramax index gained 13 points to 399 points, and the handysize index was up three points at 243 points. The capesize index, which had recovered a little on Tuesday after hitting a record low of 161 points on Monday, slipped 2 points, or 1.11 percent, to 178 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes, fell $34 to $2,252 on Wednesday. Iron ore shipments account for around a third of seaborne volumes on the larger capesizes.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru)
A new Chinese shipping index that tracks freight movements among the countries on the route of one of President Xi Jinping s key trade initiatives has fallen to the lowest level since it was established. The Maritime Silk Road Freight Index was launched on a trial basis by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange last July. The index takes January 2015 as its base point, and at that time it had a value of 100. The latest update, released on February 29, shows that the index has declined to 65.11 after falling 10.3 percent over the previous month alone.
The index is divided into four subindexes container imports, container exports, dry bulk imports and tanker imports each of which began with a value of 100. The dry bulk figure has declined to 56.14, down 7.3 percent since the end of January. The index is based on the freight volume and rate, and the data is taken from other indices published by the SSE
In August, the state-owned China Daily newspaper reported SSE President Zhang Ye as saying the index was intended to enhance the transparency and influence of the market. China s economic slowdown has triggered a drastic decline in worldwide shipping activity. China s exports fell 25.4 percent year on year in February, and imports were down 13.8 percent. The Baltic Dry Index, the global measure of the cost of shipping coal, iron ore, grain and other non-oil commodities, fell to a record low in February. At 9 a.m. on Friday it stood at $384, down from a peak of $1,222 in August.
Xi proposed the creation of the Maritime Silk Road, a trade route linking China with countries in Southeast Asia, Africa and Europe, in 2013. The following year he said China would provide $40 billion to support infrastructure development and other projects in countries along the route and that of another trade channel, the Silk Road Economic Belt.
Medium Range tanker freight rates on the UK Continent-US Atlantic Coast trip, basis 37,000 mt hit a one and a half year low because demand was insufficient to clear out the long tonnage list in Europe, shipping sources said Thursday. According to Platts data, the UKC-USAC voyage, basis 37,000 mt, was assessed at Worldscale 97.5 ($13.92/mt), down w7.5 day on day, its lowest since July 18, 2014. The freight was pegged at the same levels on Thursday morning. Low freight rates could prompt market participants to move bigger cargoes on MR tankers, market participants said. A charterer had a Long Range 1 tanker for naphtha stems and they were now considering MR tankers instead, a shipbroker said.
In addition to this, a closed gasoline arbitrage didn t help support MR rates. The physical spot-market arbitrage to the US Atlantic Coast remained closed, with the rally on the RBOB futures on Wednesday failing to translate into an equal rise in the April USAC-UKC arbitrage swap, which was heard pegged at 12.50 cents/gal at the European close.
Overall, physical winter-grade gasoline remained affected by the sell-off of winter-grade gasoline ahead of the transition to summer-grade in Europe from April 1, and largely the leitmotif of the European gasoline market in recent weeks.