Baltic index gains as capesizes, supramaxes hit over 1-month highs

Dec 8 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's dry bulk sea freight index advanced on Wednesday, steered by gains in the capesize and supramax vessel segments.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, gained 71 points, or 2.1%, to 3,423, touching its highest level since Nov. 1.

* The dry bulk market is mainly iron ore and coal driven at this point, with higher momentum in the Atlantic on relative vessels' supply tightness, shipbroker Intermodal said in a weekly note dated Tuesday.

* The capesize index advanced 206 points, or 4.1%, to 5,189, its highest level in a month-and-a-half.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased by $1,706 to $43,030.

* Chinese stainless steel futures dropped to their lowest in more than three months, dented by sluggish downstream demand and easing raw material prices.

* The panamax index shed 32 points, or 1%, to 3,221, snapping a 12-session winning streak.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which carry 60,000-70,000 tonne coal or grain cargoes, decreased by $283 to $28,992.

* The supramax index rose 32 points to 2,520, a peak since Nov. 4. (Reporting by Kavya Guduru in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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