The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index slipped on Friday, but posted its third straight monthly gain, supported by increasing demand for the capesize vessel segment.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 5 points to 1,576. The index was, however, up 13.5% for the month, as well as registered a weekly rise.
The capesize index rose 25 points, or about 1.1%, to 2,301, its highest level since late December.
The index gained 38.2% for the month. It was up over 17% for the week – its biggest weekly rise in three.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, increased $206 to $19,080.
The panamax index fell 26 points, or 1.6%, to 1,586 — its lowest since March 28. It is down 3% in April.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $232 to $14,274.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index lost 20 points, or 1.7%, at 1,165.
Singapore and Dalian iron ore futures ticked lower, with the market concerned over decreasing demand caused by a lingering drop in production among some loss-making Chinese steel mills.