The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged up on Wednesday, supported by stronger capesize vessel rates.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 6 points, or 0.39%, to 1,558.
The capesize index gained 57 points, or 2.51%, at 2,325 – its highest level since Dec. 22.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes carrying commodities such as iron ore and coal, increased by $474 to $19,283.
As iron ore flows from both Brazil and Australia bolstered the capesize sector, it led the way against weaker activity from other sizes, shipbroker Intermodal wrote in a weekly note.
The panamax index was down 23 points, or 1.47%, at its lowest since March 1 at 1,540 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, declined by $204 to $13,862.
Tonnage demand for all the reported routes was subdued with declines in rates materializing across Atlantic and Pacific basins leading Panamax earnings to drop, Intermodal added.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell 21 points to $1,123.