The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged lower on Friday on weaker rates for smaller vessels.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down one point at 956 points.
The capesize index rose 30 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,668 points.
Daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $221 at $12,239.
Capesize rates were supported by hopes that steel demand
in top consumer China would remain strong.
Iron ore shipments account for around a third of seaborne volumes on the larger capesizes.
The panamax index slid 24 points, or 2.7 percent, to 870 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, declined $192 to $7,000.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was down 5 points at 759 points, while the handysize index fell 2 points to 502 points.
(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)