Baltic Dry Index (BDI) begins the week in a positive note, ending yesterday"s session up by 28 points at 2014.
Amid a gloomy environment the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), an industry benchmark tracking the cost of hauling commodities like iron ore, coal and grain began the week in a positive note, ending yesterday"s session up by 28 points at 2014. The Capesize sector hasn"t managed to recover from last week"s drop and kept its downwards momentum, edging down by 42 points at 2921 (Baltic Capesize Index). Still overall sentiment remains positive for the sector until the end of the week. Smaller types of dry bulk carriers proved better off with the panamaxes being the best performers. The relative panamax index was up by 83 points at 1625, with average time charter rates now standing marginally over $13,000 per day, according to data from the Baltic Exchange. According to brokers sentiment for the panamax sector remains largely optimistic for the foreseeable future as early tonnage becomes difficult to come by.
Nevertheless, last week was the first in almost two months, during which the BDI fell. On a weekly basis the index dropped by 113 points or 5.4 per cent to 1,986 points, its first such decline from the beginning of the year. Most of this fall was attributed to severe weather conditions in the Pilbara region of Australia, as well as a general lack of activity in both the Atlantic and Pacific. According to Barry Rogliano Salles" latest weekly report on the dry bulk market, the news that came out during the course of the week weren"t all that bad, despite the BCI (Baltic Capesize Index) losing 20%. ?India reports that it expects steel demand to remain stable, or even increase slightly, in fiscal 2008/2009. Meanwhile latest data showed Chinese steel output returned to normal in January, at 90% of production capacity. Although the country"s third largest steelmaker Posco reported more output cuts, it is only expected to shave production by 2m tonnes, or -6%. Fortescue finished the week in a healthier position following a deal with China"s Valin Iron & Steel Group to shore up its balance sheet. And, finally, Vale dipped into the sale and purchase market to pick up two older VLOCs and one younger Cape. The company reportedly picked up more than 600,000 dwt of capacity for less than US$50m? said the broker.