March 12 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index rose on Thursday, helped by higher rates for capesize and supramax vessels.
* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, rose 2 points, or 0.3%, to 633 - its highest level since Jan. 21.
* The capesize index fell 5 points to -355.
* However, average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonne-180,000-tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, rose by $122 to $2,692.
* Steel mills and traders in China have a huge inventory of steel products that is growing, as demand is still recovering after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
* The supramax index rose 10 points to 745 - its highest since Dec. 19.
* The panamax index dropped 22 points, or 2.1%, to 1,035, marking its fourth straight session of losses.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes-70,000 tonnes, fell $197 to $9,314. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)