The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, touched a near 5-month high on Thursday, driven by stronger demand across vessel segments.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, rose 46 points to 1,296 points, a level last touched on April 13.
The 3.68 percent jump was its biggest in a single day since Aug. 11.
The capesize index climbed 176 points, or 7.22 percent, to 2,614 points, a peak not hit since late March.
“Capesize rates are gapping up yet again with global earnings bumping up to around $19,400/day fueled by strong activity levels in the North Atlantic market,” Clarksons Platou Securities analysts said in a note.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased $1,218 to $19,449.
The panamax index was up 37 points, or 2.82 percent, at 1,351 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $294 to $10,840.
Among indexes tracking rates for smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 7 points to 875 points, while the handysize index rose 5 points to 499 points.