Higher rates lift Baltic index to one-week peak

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Jan 20 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose to its highest in a week on Wednesday as vessel rates improved across all segments.

* The Baltic dry index, tracking rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, was up 62 points, or 3.5%, at 1,828, a one-week high.

* The capesize index climbed 170 points, or 5.8%, at 3,082.

* ​Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $1,409 at $25,557.

* Chinese iron ore futures gained on Wednesday on concerns that inclement weather could disrupt shipments from major supplier Australia.

* The capesize market has always been volatile, but in the past two years this has been amplified, and this volatility is unlikely to disappear any time soon, Peter Sand, chief analyst for shipping association BIMCO said.

* “However, 2021 may prove more profitable as the world starts recovering with a potential boost from heavy infrastructure stimulus, which is expected to outweigh headline worthy disruptions, particularly in relation to Chinese coal imports,” Sand said, about the capesize segment.

* The panamax index rose 5 points, or 0.3%, to 1,617.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, added $44 to $14,550.

* The supramax index was up 15 points to 1,119, its highest since October 2019. (Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru)