Baltic index sails to 1-month high as capesize, panamax rates gain

Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's dry bulk sea freight index leaped to its highest in a month on Tuesday, propelled by a steady climb in the capesize and panamax segments.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, gained 137 points, or 4.8%, to its highest since Nov. 2 at 3,018.

* However, the index fell for a second straight month, retreating 14.2%, tracking an initial dip across vessels, which analysts attributed to factors including easing shipping congestion, higher iron ore inventories in China and thin cargo flows out of the Pacific.

* The capesize index rose 340 points, or 8.2%, to 4,483, a peak since Oct. 28, but shed 3.1% for the month.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased $2,058 to $31,371.

* Benchmark Chinese iron ore futures jumped over 6% fuelled by recent restocking demand at steel firms, although analysts expect weak property and infrastructure investment to slow the long-term consumption of the steelmaking ingredient.

* The panamax index was up 76 points, or 2.8%, to over a two-week high at 2,811. The index posted a 28% monthly drop.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which ferry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, increased $684 to $25,297.

* The supramax index added 13 points to 2,340, touching its highest level in over three weeks. (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

Copyright © Reuters 2008. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

News, commentary and research reports are from third-party sources unaffiliated with Fidelity. Fidelity does not endorse or adopt their content. Fidelity makes no guarantees that information supplied is accurate, complete, or timely, and does not provide any warranties regarding results obtained from their use.