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Sector Snap: Drybulk Shippers Soar

Shares of drybulk carriers surged Tuesday, as investors took advantage of the sector's two-week pullback and a key shipping index hit yet another all-time high.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Shares of drybulk carriers surged Tuesday, as investors took advantage of the sector's two-week pullback and a key shipping index hit yet another all-time high.

The drybulk market took a hit over the last two weeks, as concerns arose over the lasting power of soaring drybulk rates and Chinese iron ore negotiations.

"The market has definitely been in a state of panic lately _ it has taken us all by surprise," Dahlman Rose analyst Omar Notka said in a conference call Tuesday.

But Notka said the market has "fully recovered" from the slip, as vessel rates have returned to record levels.

The Baltic Dry Index, which is managed by the Baltic Exchange in London, rose 44 points Tuesday to close at a new all-time high of 11,039 _ surpassing a previous high of 11,033 set on Oct. 29. The index measures drybulk shipping rates on 40 shipping routes on a time charter and voyage basis.

Notka said the increasing price for steel is also helping shippers, as are new time charters.

DryShips Inc. said early Tuesday it has entered into 12-month charters for two of its Capesize and one of its Panamax vessels at record-setting daily rates.

Also Tuesday, Diana Shipping Inc. said it took delivery of a new $110 million carrier it will charter to a division of Australia's BHP Billiton, one of the world's largest miners, for about four years.

In midday trading, shares of DryShips gained $13.46, or 16.1 percent, to $97.27. The year high for the stock is $131.34.

Diana Shipping Inc. rose $4.03, or 14.4 percent, to $32.07. The stock's year peak is $45.15.

Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. surged $6.27, or 14 percent, to $51.11. The stock's 52-week high is $81.99.

Quintana Maritime Ltd. jumped $1.86, or 7.9 percent, to $25.55. The year-high is $29.

Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. added $1.32, or 9.3 percent, to $15.49. The stock's 52-week high is $19.76.

Euroseas Ltd. rose 51 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $15.18. The stock's year peak is $21.52.

Genco Shipping & Trading gained $4.65, or 8.5 percent, to $59.45. The year-high is $78.08.

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. rose $1.62, or 6.1 percent, to $28.11. The stock's year-high is $35.54.