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Baltic index hits 11-month high on strong demand for shipping iron ore

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July 9 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index rose to its highest in 11 months on Tuesday, driven by higher rates for larger capesize vessels on strong demand for shipping iron ore.

The Baltic index , which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose about 2%, or 34 points, to 1,759, its highest since early August.

The index rose 28% last week to post its best week in nearly five years, mainly driven by strong demand for vessels that ship iron ore from Brazil.

The capesize index rose 83 points, or 2.5%, to 3,343 points.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonne-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $545 to $26,367.

Iron ore futures in China surged on Tuesday amid strong demand and lingering concerns about supply.

The panamax index rose 44 points, or 2.6%, to 1,739 points, its highest since Oct. 22.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased $352 to $13,886.

The supramax index edged 6 points higher to 835 points, its highest since Jan. 11.

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru;)

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