Baltic index dips on lower panamax, supramax demand

April 8 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, eased on Thursday as weaker panamax and supramax rates outweighed a rise in the larger capesize segment.

* The Baltic dry index .BADI , which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, slipped 39 points, or 1.8%, to 2,088.

* The capesize index .BACI added 49 points, or 1.8%, to 2,758, its highest level in over two months.

* ​Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes of coal and steel-making ingredient iron ore, gained $406 at $22,874.

* China's steel futures inched lower on Thursday, retreating from record highs touched in the previous session, as market participants stepped back to assess if the strong downstream demand seen in recent days could be sustained.

* The panamax index .BPNI dropped by 198 points, or 8.4%, to 2,160, an over one-month low.

* The index was down for the eleventh session in a row.

* With capesizes pulling up on all trades mid-week, we do believe panamaxes will follow shortly, ship broker Fearnleys said in a weekly note.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,00 tonnes, fell $1,774 to $19,444.

* The supramax index .BSIS edged down 6 points at 1,786.
Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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