Baltic index falls on weaker demand for vessels

Jan 23 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell to a near one-year low on Thursday, dragged by weaker demand across vessel segments.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, fell 47 points, or 7.5%, to 576 — lowest since early February

* The capesize index slipped 118 points, or 36.3%, to 207.

* The index registered its 30th consecutive session of losses, touching its lowest level since April 3.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, declined $840 to $5,071.

* “The market for capesize vessels has turned from bad to worse as prices for low-sulphur fuel oil remain high whilst freight rates deteriorate further,” ship broker Fearnleys said in a note on Wednesday.

* Spot demand is low as only one of three major Australian miners is currently shipping to China, Fearnleys added.

* The panamax index dropped 46 points, or 6.1%, to 714.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell $419 to $6,425.

* The supramax index fell by 4 points to 546. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)