Iron-Ore Carrier Earnings Slow Down as Vessel Surplus Persists

Earnings for Capesize ships that haul iron ore slowed down as an oversupply of vessels persisted.

Daily average returns for the largest commodity carriers increased 1 percent to $7,983, figures from the London-based Baltic Exchange showed today. Rates jumped 98 percent over the prior week through to July 6, according to the exchange. It’s the 15th consecutive increase, the data show.

Owners have idled vessels on some routes, curbing the supply of available ships and increasing returns for owners, according to an e-mailed report from Oslo-based Fearnley Securities analyst Rikard Vabo. The total Capesize fleet expanded by 23 percent from the start of the year to 1,464 vessels as of July 6, according to IHS Inc. (IHS), an Englewood, Colorado-based research company.

“Capesize activity has picked up somewhat, and as a result of many owners idling tonnage recently the balance has improved somewhat,” Vabo wrote in the report today. Still, “the market remains severely oversupplied,” Vabo said.

The Baltic Dry Index increased 0.4 percent to 1,162 as earnings climbed for three of the four vessel types it tracks. Panamaxes, the biggest ships to navigate the Panama Canal, gained 1.4 percent to $9,128 as Supramaxes that are about 25 percent smaller rose by 0.2 percent to $13,587. Handysizes, the smallest ships tracked by the index, fell 0.6 percent to $10,250, exchange data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Sheridan in London at rsheridan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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