The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, was lifted on Thursday by higher demand across all vessel segments.
The index, which factors in the average daily earnings of capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, was up 13 points, or 2.28 percent, at 584 points.
"The spot dry bulk market is in line for a positive jolt as three key pieces have lined up positively for the first time in several months: rising steel prices
, wider steel margins and cheaper imported iron ore into China
," said Omar Nokta
of Clarkson Capital Markets.
The panamax index rose nine points, or 1.49 percent, to 613 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry 60,000 to 70,000-tonne cargoes of coal or grains, increased by $76 to $4,913.
The capesize index surged 50 points, or 14.01 percent, to 407 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $255 to $4,048.
The indexes for the relatively smaller vessels -- handysize and supramax were up five points at 383 points and four points at 627 points respectively.
(Reporting by Anupam Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Greg Mahlich)