Feb 7 (Reuters) - The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index declined on Friday as lower rates for capesize and supramax segments offset gains in the panamax category.
* The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels to ferry dry bulk commodities, dropped 16 points, or 3.7%, to 415.
* The main index has lost nearly 14.8% this week, its ninth consecutive week of decline.
* The capesize index fell 47 points to a negative 234, down for the 41st straight session.
* Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, lost $361 to $2,660.
* The panamax index rose 11 points, or 2.1%, to 541.
* However, the index has declined over 5.7% this week and registered its third consecutive week of losses.
* Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, increased $98 to $4,871.
* Australian iron ore miners such as Rio Tinto and BHP Group, who are among China's biggest suppliers, said they were preparing for a tropical cyclone that will hit Australia over the weekend.
* Port Hedland, which is the world's biggest export point for iron ore, and Port of Dampier will be shutting down operations due to the cyclone in Australia.
* The supramax index fell 15 points to 491. (Reporting by Anjishnu Mondal in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)