Baltic index dips to 3-week low on easing vessel rates

Sept 8 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main dry bulk sea freight index declined on Wednesday to its lowest in more than three weeks, as rates slipped across all vessel segments.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, fell for a seventh straight session by 89 points, or 2.4%, to 3,618, its lowest since mid-August.

* But with the sector approaching "what is seasonally the strongest part of the year for dry bulk, the market is looking promising," Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst with trade association BIMCO, said in a note.

* Congestion at shipping ports and pandemic-led shipping constraints could drain the market of capacity and continue to support earnings in the dry bulk market, which could keep the market strong into 2022, Sand added.

* Robust demand and port congestions had driven the main index to an 11-year peak late last month, and despite a recent pullback, it was still not far from those levels.

* The capesize index declined 205 points, or 4%, to 4,886, its lowest in three weeks.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased by $1,702 to $40,518.

* China's coking coal and coke futures swung between gains and losses on Wednesday following another blistering rally, after the market regulator announced an increase in transaction fees for actively-traded contracts.

* The panamax index dropped 23 points, or 0.7%, to a one-month low of 3,473.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, decreased by $208 to $31,260.

* Among smaller vessels, the supramax index extended its fall to a straight sixth session and dipped 45 points to 3,211, its lowest since Aug. 18. (Reporting by Rahul Paswan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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