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Baltic, Genco Expect Chinese Steel Uptick

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Baltic Trading (BALT) were rising on Wednesday after the dry bulk shipper reported a narrower-than-expected loss and as the overall industry begins to see a rebound in Chinese steel production.

Shares of the New York-based company were at $5.52, up 9 cents, or 1.7% on Wednesday as Baltic reported on Tuesday a third-quarter net loss of $195,000, or 1 cent a share, on revenue of $10.9 million. Analyst estimates as polled by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 2 cents a share.

"Early indications of decreasing steel inventories over the last week could result in higher steel prices and a possible rebound of steel production in the short run," Baltic Chairman Peter Georgiopoulos said on a conference call Wednesday.

Genco Shipping & Trading (GNK - Get Report) also reported earnings Tuesday and beat expectations on the top and bottom line. But a positive third quarter didn't prevent shares of the company from sliding on Wednesday.

Genco was falling on Wednesday to $8.75, down 22 cents, or 2.5%, after it showed a profit of 4 cents a share on $93.5 million in revenue. Analysts expected Genco to break even on $92.8 million in revenue.

"Our opportunistic time charter approach enabled Genco to capitalize on a rising freight rate environment during the third quarter," said Robert Gerald Buchanan, president of Genco, in a statement. "We continue to employ a majority of our vessels on contracts that preserve the ability to take advantage of future rate increases."

With the prospect of a rebound in Chinese steel production , Genco and Baltic could be singing.

The Baltic Dry Index, which measures commodity shipping costs, has dropped in the past few days because of a decrease in capesize rates as Chinese steel stockpiles increased in the eight weeks leading up to the beginning of October.

The increase, however, eventually outpaced domestic demand, forcing Chinese steel producers to cut production and slowing the need for iron ore. But now it looks like a reduction in production has eliminated surplus stockpiles, meaning China could soon be firing up steel production again.
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