The Baltic Exchange’s dry bulk sea freight index rose to an over six-week high on Thursday, consecutively gaining for a fifth session, driven by strong rates across the capesize and supramax segments.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, was up 76 points, or 4.5%, at 1,752 points, its highest since Jan. 9.

The capesize index gained 247 points, or 9.7%, to 2,790, a more than one-month high.

Average daily earnings for capesize vessels, which typically transports 150,000-ton cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased by $2,047 to $23,139.

Dalian iron ore futures fell amid concerns over steel demand in top consumer China, while prices in Singapore edged up on a softer dollar.

“Healthier iron ore trade has been supportive while limited newbuilding deliveries continue to tighten capacity further, with the Panama Canal restrictions and Red Sea diversions serving to tighten capacity even more at the margin,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a note.

The panamax index extended declines, losing 49 points, or 2.9%, to 1,624 points.

Average daily earnings for panamax vessels, which usually carries about 60,000-70,000 tons of coal or grain cargo, was down $443 at $14,615.

Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose for a seventh straight session, adding 20 points to 1,174 points.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News