The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged higher on Tuesday on steady demand across vessel segments.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, rose five points or about 1 percent to 560 points. The index has gained 172 points or about 45 percent over the last month.
The capesize index rose 11 points to 744 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $4 to $5,537.
Spot iron ore climbed nearly 5 percent to a three-week peak on Monday and could similarly stretch gains amid firmer ferrous futures. The rally in steel prices
has been boosting margins among Chinese producers, pushing them to buy more raw material
Shipments of iron ore account for about a third of seaborne volumes on the larger capesizes, and iron ore price changes are a key factor for dry freight.
The panamax index rose 12 points to 666 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, rose $92 to $5,308.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index was up six points to 498 points, while the handysize index was up two points to 290 points.
(Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru)