Iron-Ore Shipping Rates Extend Gains on Demand From China

Rates for iron-ore carriers rose for a fifth day on shipments to China, the largest importer of the commodity used to make steel. The ships are still making less than they need to pay running costs.

Daily earnings for Capesizes holding about 160,000 metric tons of cargo rose 1.6 percent to $4,583 today, according to the Baltic Exchange, the London-based publisher of shipping costs. The increase led the Baltic Dry Index, a broader gauge of commodities freight rates, up 0.7 percent to 865, according to the exchange.

Two Capesizes were booked to carry iron ore to China, according to Sam Margolin, an analyst at Cowen Securities LLC in New York. Rates are still 33 percent lower than a year ago and less than the $7,758 a day that the ships need to cover operating expenses such as crew and maintenance, according to estimates from Moore Stephens LLP, an industry consultant.

“Capes continue to improve marginally this week,” Margolin said today in an e-mailed report.

Gains extended across smaller ship types tracked by the index. Rates for Panamaxes carrying about half as much cargo rose 1.3 percent to $8,756 a day, according to the exchange. Supramaxes increased 0.1 percent to $9,422, and Handysizes added 0.5 percent to $7,747, figures showed today.

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