Feb 5 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry commodities, fell for a twelfth straight session on Tuesday as vessel activity slowed ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays.
The main index, which gauges the cost of shipping commodities, such as iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, fell 6 points to 739 points.
The Baltic's capesize index was up 5 points to 1,466 points. Daily earnings for the vessels, which typically transport 150,000 tonnes of cargoes, such as iron ore and coal, were down $54 at $7,262.
Pacific basin saw some charters taking advantage of low rates on Monday, but there was a lack of depth, ICAP said in a market report.
A couple of fixtures were reported in Atlantic, it said.
Activity is expected to wind down in the wake of next week's Chinese New Year holiday. Demand for capesizes is expected to improve after the holidays.
The Baltic's panamax index fell 2 points to 651 in its 16th consecutive day of decline.
Average daily earnings for the vessels, which usually transport coal or grain cargoes of 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, were down $13 at $5,163.
The average daily earnings for supramax ships were down $44 at $7,076, while those for handysize ships were down $87 at $6,545.
(Reporting by NR Sethuraman in Bangalore; Editing by Louise Heavens) Keywords: BALTIC/
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