Charter rates for Capesize ships, the biggest carriers of iron ore, gained for a second session amid the biggest fall in prices for the steel-making commodity since January.
Daily hire costs for Capesizes gained 1.7 percent to $4,989, figures from the London-based Baltic Exchange showed today. Rates increased for six of the last seven sessions, exchange data showed. Capesizes are the largest vessels tracked by the Baltic Dry Index, a broader measure of costs to transport minerals and grains by sea, which added 1.2 percent to 875, staying at the highest level this year.
Imported ore with 62 percent iron content at the Chinese port of Tianjin dropped 3.1 percent to $139 a dry metric ton today, the most since Jan. 16, according to the Steel Index Ltd. Rates for Capesizes, which can haul more than 150,000 metric tons of the mineral “should improve as iron-ore prices come further down,” according to a report today from Oslo-based Arctic Securities ASA.
“Capesize spot rates have soared 14 percent over the last week,” Herman Hildan, an analyst at investment bank RS Platou Markets AS, said in an e-mailed note today. “The Pacific basin has been the main region pushing rates higher as brokers said BHP Billiton was the most active in securing prompt cargoes yesterday.”
Iron-ore prices slumped amid concern that a slowdown in construction projects in China, the world’s biggest buyer of the mineral, will curb demand for the commodity.
Among the three classes of smaller ships tracked by the exchange, Panamaxes, the biggest vessels to navigate the Panama Canal, added 0.6 percent to $9,105. Supramaxes, about 25 percent smaller, gained 1.6 percent to $9,440, staying at the highest since Aug. 9. Handysizes, the smallest ships in the index, increased 0.9 percent, climbing to $7,318, the highest level since Aug. 14, exchange data showed.