Feb 12 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index edged down on Monday, falling for the first time in five sessions due to lower demand for panamaxes and smaller vessels ahead of the Chinese New Year that is also expected to weigh on demand.
* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, closed down two points, or 0.18 percent, at 1,123 points.
* “With the holiday period around Chinese New Year next week, we would expect a muted tone to linger on across the segments as the week progresses,” said analysts at shipbroker Clarksons Platou Securities.
* The panamax index fell 13 points, or 1.04 percent, to end at 1,237 points, its lowest since early September. The index has now fallen for 11 straight sessions.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $105 to $9,925.
* Among smaller vessels, the supramax index fell six points to finish at 819 points, while the handysize index fell six points to close at 520 points.
* However, the capesize index gained 34 points, or 1.9 percent, to end at 1,824 points.
* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $182 to $14,318. (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)