(Adds analyst comment)
Oct 9 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, jumped on Wednesday, on stronger demand for capesize vessels driven by a seasonal uptick in Brazilian iron ore exports.
* The Baltic index, which reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 72 points, or 4%, to 1,873, its biggest daily percentage gain since Aug. 30.
* The capesize index jumped 177 points, or 5.8%, to 3,208, recording its steepest percentage rise in over five weeks.
* The average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $1,470 to $25,598.
* Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO, said the capesize segment seems to be driven forward by Brazilian iron ore exports to China, which is often strong during these times of the year and could strengthen further into the fourth quarter.
* However, the dry bulk sector, the capesizes in particular, could be challenged in the longer term as “there are concerns of increased Chinese steel production coming from scrap metal in electric furnaces,” he added.
* The panamax index climbed 48 points, or 2.7%, to 1,852.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased by $387 to $14,840.
* The supramax index nudged up 5 points to 1,204. (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)