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Iron ore prices boost capesize sector

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Dry Bulk,

High iron ore prices have kept the capesize market active over the past week, according to Fearnleys. With prices touching close to the US$80 per tonne mark, miners are keen to sell and ship as much iron ore as possible before prices soften, boosting demand for capesize vessels.

Brazilian production has been strong with Brazilian mining company, Vale, actively taking vessels, said Fearnleys in its weekly market report. This has pushed the rates on the key Brazil-China route to US$25 000 per day. Brazil is the second largest iron ore exporter.

Meanwhile, miners in Australia – the world’s largest iron ore exporter – have also been active, paying around US$17 000 per day. Australia exports around 813 million t of iron ore in 2015, accounting for over half of the seaborne market. The country’s exports are expected to grow further this year as the Roy Hill mines ramp up production.

The capesize period market has also been active, although most charterers prefer to fix on an index-linked scheme. Fixed rates for a one-year period are now above the US$10 000 per day mark for 170 000 DWT vessels and US$11 000 for 180 000 DWT vessels.

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