The Baltic Dry Index shot up 4.16% to 1,528 points in London to gain for sixth day in a row. The recent upswing is being attributed in part to increased demand for high-quality iron from China and a burst of iron ore spot activity in Brazil.
Capesize rates increased 4.79% and Panamax rates were up 4.94% to lead the index higher. Supramax rates were up 1.14% and Handyside rates edged up 0.66%.
Looking ahead, Fitch Ratings expects higher dry bulk rates next year.
Fitch on shipping: “We expect freight rates to rise in 2020, driven by improved supply/demand balance and an increase in fuel cost. We think the Baltic Dry Index, based on time-charter rate average for various vessel sizes, could jump by 15%-20% in 2020, after remaining fairly flat in 2019 when supply growth has outpaced demand. While there has been a significant recovery in the BDI in 2H19, we expect rates in 2020 to be less volatile for the year as a whole. The increase in annual average and relative stability in 2020 should be similar to the trend seen in 2018, when both trade volume and fleet capacity grew by 3%. An 18% increase in the annual BDI average in 2018 had followed a 70% jump in 2017 and a recovery from historic lows in 1Q16.”
Related stocks: Diana Shipping (NYSE:DSX), DryShips (NASDAQ:DRYS), Eagle Bulk Shipping (NASDAQ:EGLE), Navios Maritime Holdings (NYSE:NM), Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE:NMM), Globus Maritime Limited (NASDAQ:GLBS), Safe Bulkers (NYSE:SB), Scorpio Bulkers (NYSE:SALT), Star Bulk Carriers (NASDAQ:SBLK), Golden Ocean Group Limited (NASDAQ:GOGL), Seanergy Maritime (NASDAQ:SHIP), EuroDry (NASDAQ:EDRY), Genco Shipping & Trading (NYSE:GNK).