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Baltic index hits 1-week low on sluggish panamax demand

March 16 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell to a one-week low on Monday, hurt by weaker rates for panamax vessels, which outweighed an uptick in demand for the capesize and supramax segments.

* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, fell 8 points, or 1.3%, to 623, marking its biggest daily fall since Feb. 7 and its lowest level since March 9.

* The panamax index shed 37 points, or 3.7%, to 970, also posting its worst day in over a month.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes-70,000 tonnes, declined $329 to $8,732.

* The capesize index was up 18 points at -293.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonnes-180,000 tonnes cargoes including iron ore and coal, dropped by $2 to $2,795.

* China's factory production plunged at its sharpest pace in three decades in the first two months of the year as the fast-spreading coronavirus and strict containment severely disrupted the world's second-largest economy.

* The supramax index inched 4 points higher to 754. (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)