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Northern, WI 1/10/2013 (Wallstreetpr) –Baltic Dry Index (BDI) has started New Year with a big bang as it surged for the first time since November last year. The index has been on a negative move for most parts of the year 2012.

The index measures the price of transporting goods by ship; mainly the dry goods like grains, iron ore and building materials. This measure is based on the size of the container viz. capsize, panama, supramax and handy size. The daily price varies directly with the change in demand of goods to be transported through the sea. Since there was a slowdown of global economic development during 2012, the demand also slumped causing the index movement in the red. The index finally turned positive last week as the demand for the dry commodities increased, and the rates for capsized vessels was increased to $4973 per day. This is because there is a potential expectation of increased demand from China for iron ore shipments.

Some of the US shipping companies included in the Baltic Dry Index include DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS), Diana Shipping (NYSE:DSX), Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (NYSE:EXM), Navios Maritime Holdings INC. (NYSE:NM), Star Bulk Carriers Corp (NASDAQ:SBLK), Paragon Shipping (NYSE:PRGN). All of these companies are a good buy at this point in time as there is an increased demand of shipping which contribute to the index gain.

Among these companies, Navios Maritime holdings (NYSE:NM) a vertically integrated logistics company shipping grain, iron ore and coal gained 1.08% and is trading at $ 3.76 per share. The 52 week high for the company’s share is $4.49. It has gained over 12% in the last week. Paragon Shipping (NYSE:PRGN) has surged the maximum of the lot, with gaining over 70% in the past week.  It is currently trading at $4.42 an increase of 21% in the last trading session. However the 52 week high for the company’s share is $10.40.

The index could also increase in the coming weeks with an increased demand of bulk commodities and also the listed companies in the index are prepared to cater the increasing demand and make profits to offset the losses of the previous year.

The shares of Diana Shipping (NYSE:DSX) were up 1.77% to $8.61. DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ:DRYS) were up 2.34% to $2.19. Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (NYSE:EXM) shares were up 5.8% to $0.730. Shares of Navios Maritime Holdings INC. (NYSE:NM) were up 0.53% to $3.78. Shares of Star Bulk Carriers Corp (NASDAQ:SBLK) were up 1.19% to $7.15. Shares of Paragon Shipping (NYSE:PRGN) were down 3.39% to $4.27.

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