Despite China"s holidays, the country"s hunger for iron ore on the back of dropping stockpiles, was enough to propel the Baltic Dry Index for one more session yesterday.
Despite China"s holidays, the country"s hunger for iron ore on the back of dropping stockpiles, was enough to propel the Baltic Dry Index, an industry benchmark for tracking ship key dry commodities, for one more session yesterday. But this was a special one, since the BDI managed to edge up above the 1,000-point mark for the first time in months and close at 1,004 points. Although the up until yesterday capesize sector showed signs of fatigue and fell by 14 points at 2,035 it still managed to stay above the 2,000 points (BCI Index), a benchmark it reached on Monday, also after many months. Yesterday was a day for smaller vessel types, all of which posted gains. The Panamax Index rose by 26 points to 588, the Supramax Index by 14 points to 460 and the Handysize managed to rise even marginally by 4 points to 283.
Despite this positive trend, the index still remains more than 90 percent off the record highs experienced during May of 2008. Brokers say prices have generally been lifted by more Capesize demand to shift minerals, with the Atlantic market benefitting last week. They also said miner Rio Tinto was particularly active in the East last week, helping to drive some of the those gains. Yesterday"s rise though was particularly notable with Australia"s main ports being closed, when the bulk of world coal exports, as well as a major part of iron ore are exported by Australia. One explanation could of course be Chinese buyers, who are rather active lately, opting for other countries. After all, China"s iron-ore stockpiles have dropped 22 percent from a record in September as steelmakers restrained output in response to weaker demand.