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Baltic Dry Index Posts First Increase Since November as Iron Ore Shipments on the Rise

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jan 9, 2013) - After struggling with a supply glut throughout much of 2012 shipping stocks have started the New Year on an impressive run as the Baltic Dry Index has begun to show signs of improvement. The Guggenheim Shipping ETF (SEA) has surged over 7 percent in the past week. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Shipping Industry and provides equity research on Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. ( NYSE : NM ) and Paragon Shipping Inc. ( NYSE : PRGN ).

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The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), a measure of costs to ship dry-bulk commodities such as grain, coal and iron ore, last week increased 0.3 percent, which was the first increase since November 28th. In 2012, the BDI posted its lowest average since 1986, according to the Baltic Exchange.

Rates for Capesize vessels, which ship iron ore and coal, have surged 2.2 percent to $4,973 a day. Iron ore shipments to China are expected to rise after recent reports have shown inventories of the commodity were at their lowest levels in two years.

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Navios Maritime Holdings is a global, vertically integrated seaborne shipping and logistics company focused on the transport and transshipment of drybulk commodities including iron ore, coal and grain. The company currently offers investors an annual dividend of $0.24 per share for a dividend yield of approximately 6.45 percent. Shares of Navios have gained over 12 percent in the past week.

Paragon Shipping is a Marshall Islands-based international shipping company specializing in the transportation of drybulk cargoes. The company's current fleet consists of twelve drybulk vessels with a total carrying capacity of 779,270 dwt. Shares of Paragon Shipping have soared nearly 70 percent in the past week.

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