The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose for the first time in seven sessions on Tuesday, following a rebound in capesize rates.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, edged up 13 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,095 points.
The capesize index snapped its five-session losing streak and climbed 86 points, or 6 percent, to 1,519 points. It touched its lowest in more than six months on Monday.
"We're seeing a positive reversal in the capesize dry bulk market today driven by a flurry of activity in the Pacific markets as a coal restock in China begins to take shape," said analysts at shipbroker Clarksons Platou Securities.
"With the Chinese New Year around the corner, domestic coal production is expected to decline, increasing reliance on imports to alleviate thermal supply shortages."
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $795 at $11,984.
Chinese iron ore futures edged higher alongside steel prices on Tuesday, with most steel producers done with replenishing stocks ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.
The panamax index fell for the seventh session and was down 23 points, or 1.72 percent, at 1,316 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, declined $183 to $10,555.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index shed 8 points to 857 points, and the handysize index lost 5 points to 538 points.
Reporting by Sumita Layek