The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index extended gains on Thursday as rates for the panamax vessel segment rose for the sixth straight session.

The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, and supramax shipping vessels, was up 45 points, or about 4%, at 1,178, a two-week high.

The capesize index fell for the third consecutive session, losing 4 points, or about 0.6%, to 652.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as coal and steel-making ingredient iron-ore used in construction, fell $35 to $5,407.

Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures rose on Thursday, after the Chinese city of Zhengzhou said it would start building stalled housing projects, offering some relief to markets worried about weak steel demand in China.

The panamax index was up for the sixth consecutive session, gaining 180 points, or about 11.4%, to 1,757, a three-week high.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, were up $1,619 at $15,815.

Meanwhile, too few ships are arriving in Ukraine to quickly clear mountains of grain built up over months of war despite a U.N.-backed sea corridor.

The supramax index, which has not seen a single session of gains in two weeks, lost 5 points to 1,477.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News