Baltic index hits over 7-month high on increasing vessel activity

June 23 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index touched its highest level in more than seven months on Tuesday, as rates across all vessel segments rose on increasing trading activity.

* The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 59 points, or 3.8%, to 1,617, its highest since Nov. 5.

* The index has soared more than fourfold after slipping to a low of 393 points in May, when coronavirus-induced lockdowns hammered global trade and vessel demand.

* “The still looming threat of a renewed lockdown in Autumn, coupled with a still sluggish paced recovery in the West and continued geopolitical issues, leave for a high-risk potential of a complete derailment of the recovery effort being made,” Allied Shipbroking said in a weekly note on Monday.

* Global cases of the novel coronavirus surpassed 9 million on Monday.

* The Baltic capesize index rose 185 points, or 4.9%, to 3,976, its highest since Sept. 24.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, rose by $1,308 to $26,672.

* The panamax index gained 18 points, or 1.5%, to 1,222.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $157 to $10,997.

* The supramax index edged 5 points higher to 667. (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)