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Dry sector decline halted

London: The Baltic's Dry Index climbed more than 100 points yesterday, halting the steep decline of recent days. Better Panamax rates, particularly on Pacific round voyages, saw that index climb 6.3% to 5243 and the Baltic Dry Index finished 102 points higher overall, at 4,958. Modest gains were also posted in the Capesize and Supramax indices although the Baltic Handysize Index shed a further seven points.  

Although Capesize rates are dramatically down on levels prevailing a couple of weeks ago, they are still  underpinned to some extent by solid Chinese demand, experts point out. Long-term charters are still being fixed at healthy levels and average earnings, admittedly down, are still firm in historical terms, at more than $60,000 a day, according to Clarkson.

However, the implications for shipping of recent global financial turmoil are only now coming to light. A significant volume of the record orderbook still has to be financed and some new shipyards were already running into funding difficulties, even before the events of this week. Then there are any number of tanker to bulker conversion projects which do not appear as attractive as they did three months ago.  [19/09/08] 

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