Commodity Ships Gain for Longest Streak in Year on China Demand

Rates to ship iron ore, coal and grains rose for the longest streak in almost a year on speculation Chinese demand increased. Earnings are still below last year’s average.

The Baltic Dry Index gained for a 15th straight session, adding 1.4 percent to 912 today, according to the Baltic Exchange, the London-based publisher of shipping costs. That’s the longest streak since March 30, 2012. Daily earnings for Capesizes, the largest ships tracked by the gauge, rose 1.7 percent to $4,977, according to the exchange.

Six Capesizes were booked to China, including two from Brazil, after several days of few charters, Sam Margolin, an analyst at Cowen Securities LLC in New York, said in an e-mailed report today. The ships are still earning less than the $7,758 they need to cover operating costs such as crew and maintenance, according to estimates from Moore Stephens LLP, an accountant and consultant. The Baltic Dry Index averaged 920 in 2012.

“Rates remain low, but steady,” Margolin said in the report.

Gains extended across the other vessel types tracked by the index. Daily earnings for Panamaxes rose for a 30th session, increasing 1 percent to $9,465, according to the exchange. Supramaxes gained 1.4 percent to $9,934, and Handysizes increased 1.7 percent to $7,765, figures showed today.

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