Jan 15 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index that tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities edged higher on Wednesday, helped by rising demand for panamax vessels.
* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose 5 points, or 0.7%, to 768.
* The capesize index dropped 92 points, or 9.5%, to 878 - its lowest since April end.
* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, fell $244 to $9,011.
* A shrinking inventory of iron ore at China's ports kept investors wary about supply prospects, while thin trade volumes suggest waning demand.
* The panamax index climbed 58 points, or 7.6%, to 825.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased $523 to $7,422.
* The supramax index dipped 4 points to 559. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru' Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)