June 17, 2020 / 2:18 PM / 22 days ago

Baltic index logs record jump as capesize demand spikes

June 17 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index posted its biggest ever daily percentage jump on Wednesday, propelled by a surge in capesize rates to a more than six-month high.

* The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 192 points, or about 18.2%, to 1,246, its highest since Dec. 17.

* The Baltic capesize index jumped 601 points, or about 32.4% to 2,455, its highest since Dec. 13.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, increased by $4,250 to $19,036.

* Increasing shipments of iron ore out of Brazil, along with coal from the east coast of the United States to India, have brought down the number of open ships, leading to a massive change in capesize rates over the past two weeks, said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO.

* Construction steel's October contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange is on track for its best quarterly performance in four, lifted by solid demand from an infrastructure-led recovery programme for the coronavirus-hit Chinese economy.

* Inventories of the steel-making ingredient have declined steadily over the past three weeks in China, dropping to 107.75 million tonnes last week, their lowest since October 2016, SteelHome consultancy data showed. SH-TOT-IRONINV

* The panamax index gained 70 points, or 7.4%, to 1,019.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $625 to $9,170.

* The supramax index rose 10 points, or 1.6%, to 634. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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