Bulker stocks blazed a trail in the first quarter with Star Bulk Carriers leading the way in an improving market.

The 55 shipping stocks covered by Clarksons Platou Securities have gained 13% in the year to date, while the dry cargo peer group has climbed by two thirds in the opening three months of 2017.

Star Bulk headed the pack with a 127% jump. It was followed by peers Safe Bulkers and Scorpio Bulkers, which have risen by 86% and 77% respectively, according to analysts Frode Morkedal and Herman Hildan.