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Baltic index drops for fourth week on weakness across vessel segments

Aug 12 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell to a fresh six-month low on Friday and posted its fourth consecutive weekly decline as rates slid across vessel segments.

* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax and supramax shipping vessels, fell 79 points, or 5.1%, to 1,477 points. It was down 5.3% on the week.

* The capesize index lost 224 points, or 14.6%, to a six-month low of 1,314 points. The index fell 6.9% for the week, its fourth straight drop.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $1,859 at $10,898.

* Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures fell as traders weighed demand prospects in top steel producer China, plagued by a debt crisis in its real estate industry.

* The panamax index was down for the 14th straight session, shedding 20 points, or 1%, to 1,907 points, its lowest in more than three weeks. It fell 3.1% for the week in its third consecutive decline.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $178 to $17,161.

* Maize crop conditions in the EU's top grain producer France declined steeply last week to their lowest in at least a decade, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed, due to a worsening drought and heatwave.

* Meanwhile, two more ships left Ukraine's Black Sea ports, including one laden with the first Ukrainian wheat to be exported under a U.N.-brokered deal, Turkey's defence ministry said.

* The supramax index rose for the first time since July 22, adding two points to 1,593 points. However, it shed 6.3% for the week, its third weekly drop. (Reporting by Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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