The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Thursday, supported by increased demand for panamaxes and smaller vessels.
The overall index that gauges the cost of shipping cargoes including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, was up eight points, or 2.13 percent, to 384 points.
The index has gained over 30 percent, since hitting an all-time low of 290 points on Feb. 10.
The panamax index rose 19 points, or, 4.25 percent to 466 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, climbed $146 to $3,739.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index gained 13 points to 412 points, and the handysize index was up three points at 246 points.
"Most of the recent upward movement for the supramax is attributable to the grain market," ship brokerage firm Fearnleys said in a weekly report on Wednesday.
The capesize index remained unchanged at 178 points on Thursday. The index, which has shed over 60 percent so far this year, had touched a record low of 161 points on Monday.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $34 to $2,218.
Freight rates for capesize bulk carriers on key Asian routes are likely to hold around the current levels, after a revival in charter rates this week ran out of steam as the fundamentals of too many ships chasing little cargo remained unchanged, ship brokers said.
(Reporting by Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru)