Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry commodities, fell on Friday on low demand for capesize and panamax vessels.
The overall index, which reflects daily freight market prices for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize dry bulk transport vessels, fell 1 percent to 1,086 points. The index has fallen about 0.73 percent this week.
The Baltic's capesize index fell 1.87 percent to 2,199 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which usually transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $364 at $15,869.
Capesize rates fell on reports of reduced buying interest for iron ore in China, RS Platou markets said in a note.
Spot iron ore touched six-week lows as demand from top buyer China declined in tandem with falling steel prices, putting the raw material on course for its first monthly loss in three.
Shanghai steel futures fell to their weakest since September on Friday and dropped nearly 4 percent this month as China's winter curbed construction activity and the need for steel.
Iron ore shipments account for around a third of seaborne volumes on the larger capesizes, and brokers said price developments remained a key factor for dry freight.
The panamax index fell 1.41 percent, with average daily earnings down $114 at $7,815.
Rates for panamax ships slipped as activity slowed down after a strong run in the past week.
Capesize rates have fallen about 3 percent and panamax rates have fallen about 4 percent this week.
Average daily earnings for handysize ships were up $29 at $6605, while those of supramax ships were up $63 at $8005.
(Reporting by NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; editing by James Jukwey) Keywords: BALTIC/
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