Baltic index posts 7th straight weekly gain on higher demand

July 3 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose to register a seventh straight weekly gain on Friday, as demand gained steam across all vessel segments.

* The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 71 points, or 3.9%, to 1,894, climbing to its highest since mid-October 2019 and rising 8.3% for the week.

* Easing virus-led lockdowns in China have boosted demand for iron-ore, helping the index to gain 73.8% so far this year.

* The Baltic capesize index gained 176 points, or 4.1%, to 4,440.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, rose by $1,305 to $32,682.

* The panamax index rose 4.7% or 59 points to 1,316, hitting a more than 6 months high and gaining 4.8% for the week.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $523 to $11,840.

* The supramax index inched up 8 points to 701. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans)