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Baltic index flat as panamax demand offsets capesize 9-month low

Jan 16 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index stayed flat on Thursday, as rise in demand for panamaxes offset fall in capesize rates, with the capesize index dropping to near 9-month low.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, remained steady at 768.

* The capesize index dropped 94 points, or 10.7%, to 784 - its lowest since April 26.

* The index has fell for a 25th straight session.

* “Far East iron ore and coal volumes are fair but not sufficient to change a nervous spot sentiment,” ship broker Fearnleys said in a note on Wednesday.

* “(There are) still very rough seas for the big ships,” Fearnleys added.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, fell $210 to $8,801.

* The panamax index rose 34 points, or 4.1%, to 859.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, gained $305 to $7,727.

* The supramax index remained unchanged at 559 points. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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