Baltic index gains for 12th straight session as vessel demand rises

June 15 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose for a twelfth straight session on Monday to its highest in more than five months on stronger demand across vessel sizes.

* The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 50 points, or about 5.4%, to 973, its highest since Jan. 2.

* The Baltic capesize index jumped 125 points, or about 8.2% to 1,648, its highest since Dec. 24.

* Benchmark iron ore futures in China remained steady on Monday, as China’s portside stockpiles fell, supporting prices amidst weakening demand.

* Inventories of the steel-making ingredient, dropped to 107.75 million tonnes last week, their lowest since October 2016 at Chinese ports, SteelHome consultancy data showed. SH-TOT-IRONINV

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, increased by $887 to $13,297.

* The panamax index gained 32 points, or 3.8%, to 884.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $294 to $7,959.

* The supramax index rose 15 points, or 2.5%, to 612. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)