Baltic index falls as capesize rates ease

July 9 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index was down on Thursday, as declining capesize vessel rates offset gains in panamax and supramax index.

* The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, fell 39 points, or 2.1%, to 1,810.

* The Baltic capesize index lost 184 points, or 5.2%, to 3,386.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, dropped by $1,529 to $28,081.

* However, rising demand for iron ore from China, after the economy opened up following months of virus-led lockdown, has helped the capesize index gain over 73% so far this year.

* “The big ships experiencing partly awaited correction after almost one month of steady/aggressive spot improvements,” ship broker Fearnleys said in a weekly note.

* “Basic fundamentals remain good ... Atlantic in particular keeps being very tight on early tonnage and appears a key driver for subsequent recovery.”

* The panamax index rose 2.6%, or 40 points, to 1,557.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $360 to $14,011.

* The supramax index rose 36 points, or 4.7%, to 809. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)