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Baltic index inches up as firmer panamax rates lend support

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July 31 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index edged higher for the third straight session, propped up by stronger rates for the panamax vessel segment.

* The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, was 2 points higher at 1,350.

* The Baltic capesize index eased 4 points to 2,206.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, fell $30 to $18,296.

* The panamax index rose 24 points, or 2%, to 1,227.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $214 to $11,045.

* However, the supramax index dipped 8 points to 870. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)