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Baltic index wraps up best week since late-June

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Aug 7 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index wrapped up its best week in more than one month, ending broadly steady on Friday, as a slide in capesizes offset higher panamax and supramax rates.

* The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities and reflects rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, was up by a point, at 1,501.

* For the week, the overall index recorded its best week since June 26, rising 11.2%.

* The Baltic capesize index fell 63 points, or 2.6%, to 2,401.

* However, the capesize index was 8.8% up for the week, registering its second straight weekly gain.

* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport cargoes of 170,000 tonnes to 180,000 tonnes, including iron ore and coal, were down $522 at $19,912.

* Iron ore futures fell on Friday, but China's benchmark contract marked its biggest weekly gain since May underpinned by solid domestic demand.

* Very positive to see that this sector is not completely crushed by lack of demand yet as the Chinese are buying a lot from everywhere since April, said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO.

* China's iron ore imports in July surged to a record, up 24% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Friday, driven by shipments from miners and resilient demand as the economy bounced back after disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic.

* The panamax index gained 69 points, or 4.6%, at 1,563, registering a weekly gain of 27.4%, it's best in four.

* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, rose $622 to $14,070.

* The supramax index edged up 8 points to 855. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)