Baltic sea freight index slips to third straight weekly loss

April 1 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's dry bulk sea freight index registered a third consecutive weekly decline on Friday, pulled down by falling rates for panamax and supramax vessels.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell by one point to 2,357 points, its lowest since March 8. The index fell 7.4% over the week.

* Shipbroker Jefferies, however, expects average rates for 2022 to be higher than last year rates "especially as most Western buyers of commodities try to diversify away from Russian cargoes".

* The panamax index dipped 68 points, or 2.2%, to 3,073 points for its lowest level since March 21, down almost 10% on the week.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, lost $613 to $27,660.

* Ferrous commodity futures in China climbed on Friday, with iron ore hovering near an eight-month peak as gloomy domestic factory activity data bolstered expectations of additional economic stimulus for the world's top steel producer.

* The capesize index gained 104 points, or 5.9%, to 1,864 but was down 1.2% for the week.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, increased $867 to $15,460.

* The supramax index dropped 53 points to 2,755 points, down 8.8% for the week. (Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru Editing by David Goodman)

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