February 5, 2009 / 5:01 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1 - Baltic dry freight highest since October

(Adds brokers, details)

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s chief sea freight index .BADI, which tracks prices to ship key dry commodities, rose on Thursday to the highest level since end October last year.

The London-based index, which gauges prices to ship resources like iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser on major export routes, rose to 1,498 points or 13.83 percent.

Ship brokers said iron ore had seen a rush by key suppliers like Rio Tinto (RIO.L), Vale VALE5.SA(RIO.N) and BHP Billiton Ltd/Plc (BHP.AX)(BLT.L) to move iron ore into China.

“The China iron ore shipments have dramatically risen,” one broker said.

    On Wednesday, BHP Billiton Ltd/Plc said a massive build-up of iron ore stockpiles in China that prompted suppliers to defer millions of tonnes in shipments last year is ending, pushing spot prices higher.

    Reporting by Mariam Karouny, editing by Peter Blackburn

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