Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd. added 9.7 percent and DryShips Inc. gained 13 percent as shipping rates rose for an eighth day, boosted by demand to transport agricultural goods.
Genco gained $1.25 to $14.08 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading and DryShips rose 51 cents to $4.57 in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading.
“Out of South America, you have a lot of grain,” said Charles Rupinski, an analyst at Maxim Group LLC in New York. “Grain is the area of commodities where there’s been more of an easing of the letter-of-credit situation than for some of the other commodities.”
The global economic slowdown and frozen credit markets have made it more difficult for shippers to secure the letters, which guarantee payments. Of the $13.6 trillion of goods traded worldwide, 90 percent rely on letters of credit or related forms of financing and guarantees, according to the Geneva-based World Trade Organization.
The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of transport costs for commodities across different shipping routes and vessel classes, gained 36 points, or 1.6 percent, to 2,298 points. That was the eighth consecutive advance. The index has almost tripled this year.
Rates for Panamax ships, the largest vessels able to travel through the Panama Canal, gained 4.4 percent today, according to the London-based Baltic Exchange. The rates, which have risen 10 straight days, are up 65 percent since Feb. 24. Costs have fallen 72 percent in the past year.
“The smaller vessel classes continued to perform well as a result of strong demand in the Atlantic basin for grain and other cargoes,” Natasha Boyden, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald LP in New York, said in a note yesterday.
Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. gained 18 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $5.23. Diana Shipping Inc. gained $1.15, or 9.3 percent, to $13.53. Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. added 39 cents, or 9.7 percent, to $4.43.