Shipping freight rates have soared in recent weeks and a key factor has been China's soaring demand for raw materials, reported the Financial Times. Record increases in Chinese imports of iron ore and steel initiated the hike in shipping prices. The Baltic Dry Index, a benchmark set in London for freight on vessels carrying bulk goods, rose 50 per cent in the three weeks to October 13.
"Shipping rates are at levels never seen before," said Peter Willems, an analyst at shipbrokers JE Hyde.
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