Iron-Ore Freight Rates Have Biggest Monthly Jump Since September

Charter rates for Capesize ships that carry iron ore jumped the most since September this month, helped by the biggest increase in four years on the route between Brazil and China.

The daily average rate to hire a Capesize, each able to carry about 160,000 metric tons of cargo, climbed 93 percent this month to $16,877, data from the Baltic Exchange in London showed today. That was the largest increase in 11 months. Costs advanced 31 percent, the most since August 2010, to $24.45 a ton on the Tubarao-Qingdao voyage.

“Capesize rates are set to increase much further during the upcoming weeks and months,” Jeffrey Landsberg, managing director of Commodore Research, a New York-based adviser to ship owners, said by e-mail. “Availability of Capesize vessels is already tight, and a great deal more cargoes, particularly Brazilian iron-ore cargoes, are set to come to the market during the next four months.”

Australia and Brazil are the world’s two biggest exporters of iron ore, used to make steel, and China is the largest importer. Brazil has a disproportionate effect on shipping because it’s three times further from China than Australia.

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