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Baltic index up for 6th straight week on robust vessel demand

June 26 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index edged higher on Friday, helped by an uptick in rates for capesize and panamax vessels, and posted a sixth consecutive weekly gain.

* The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, gained 11 points, or 0.6%, to 1,749 and rose 12.5% this week.

* The index has surged about 60% so far this year and has recouped losses brought about by the coronavirus pandemic that sapped demand for vessels.

* The Baltic capesize index inched up by 6 points, to 4,218, and recorded its fourth straight weekly rise, gaining 8.1%.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, rose by $246 to $29,641.

* The panamax index was up by 3 points at 1,256, its highest since Dec. 19.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $33 to $11,306.

* The supramax index was unchanged at 678. (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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