Baltic index up for 20th session on stronger vessel demand

June 25 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index extended gains for a 20th straight session on Thursday, on firmer rates 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, gained 33 points, or 1.9%, to 1,738, its highest since Oct. 30

* The index has surged about 60% so far this year and has recouped losses brought about by the coronavirus pandemic that sapped demand for vessels.

* The Baltic capesize index gained 24 points, or 0.6%, to 4,213, its highest since Sept. 18

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, rose by $738 to $29,395.

* The panamax index was up by 8 points, or 0.6%, to 1,253, its highest since Dec. 19

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $71 to $11,273.

* The supramax index edged 4 points higher to 678. (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)