Feb 14 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index dropped nearly 2 percent on Wednesday, weighed down by lower rates for capesize vessels ahead of a week-long Lunar Year break in China starting Thursday.
* The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 19 points, or 1.71 percent, at 1,095 points.
* Despite the Lunar New Year and the fact that the effects of the traditional slowdown are already visible, the Baltic index signals a positive period from March if the pattern of previous years repeats itself, shipbroker Intermodal said in a note.
* The capesize index fell 72 points, or 4.02 percent, to 1,721 points.
* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $762 at $13,313.
* The panamax index was up for the first time in 13 sessions and climbed 3 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,231 points.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, increased $29 to $9,885.
* Among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose 6 points to 823 points, while the handysize index fell 2 points to 516 points. (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)