Baltic index gains for seventh-straight session on strong vessel demand

Dec 2 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose for a seventh consecutive session, helped by growing demand for ships across vessel segments.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, rose 40 points, or 2.6%, to 1,568 points, its highest since Nov. 5.

* The capesize index rose 100 points, or 3.2%, to its highest since mid-Oct at 3,231 points.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $628 to $24,493.

* The panamax index gained 57 points, or 4.7% to 1,282 points, rising for a fourth-straight session.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased $446 to $10,268.

* Factors including higher demand from Chinese iron ore, coal, and soybean imports, vessel adjustments and progress on a U.S.-China trade are likely to support dry bulk rates in December and into 2020, Randy Giveans, vice-president, equity research at Jefferies said in a note.

* China’s steel future prices rose on Monday after Beijing released the official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which hinted towards an improvement in its manufacturing sector in November.

* The supramax index inched up three points to 819 points, registering its ninth-straight session of gains. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)