Baltic index slips to 9-month low, dragged by lower vessel rates

Jan 21 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell to its lowest level since early April last year on Tuesday, weighed down by weaker demand for vessels across all segments.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, fell 40 points, or 5.5%, to 689 - its lowest since April 3, 2019.

* The capesize index declined 98 points, or 16.5%, to 495.

* The capesize index registered its 28th straight session of losses, and is at its lowest level in nine months.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, fell $698 to $7,062.

* BHP Group,, the world’s biggest miner, maintained its 2020 iron ore and thermal coal output forecasts on Tuesday, despite production of coal being hit by the Australian bushfires.

* The panamax index dropped 42 points, or 4.8%, to 824.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, fell $373 to $7,418.

* The supramax index fell 4 points to 556 points. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)