Baltic index extends gains on strong demand across vessel segments

Sept 14 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main dry bulk sea freight index extended gains to a fourth straight session on Tuesday, rising to a more than two-week high, propelled by higher rates across vessel segments.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessels, rose 58 points, or 1.4%, to 4,221.

* The capesize index added 94 points, or 1.5%, to 6,474, its highest since March 2009.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased by $784 to $53,692.

* "The recent typhoon Chanthu in East China Sea has disrupted vessels' supply anew leading to a higher spike in capesize freight rates, driven by the Pacific, while Atlantic freight rates continue to remain at a premium," said Tamara Apostolou, analyst at Intermodal Research.

* Congestion in ports, especially in China, exacerbated global shipping constraints and pushed the main index to an 11-year peak in August but it pulled back in the first week of September, before resuming the uptrend this week.

* Although volatility is to be expected depending on congestion release, "fundamentals are very positive for freight rates to remain elevated," added Apostolou.

* Chinese coking coal and coke futures closed more than 5% lower on Tuesday, falling for a third straight session on concerns over more government controls to stabilise prices and ensure supplies.

* The panamax index rose for a fourth straight session, adding 62 points, or 1.7%, to 3,756.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $554 to $33,803.

* Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose for the second straight session by 30 points to 3,210. (Reporting by Rahul Paswan and Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Vinay Dwivedi)

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