A fast expansion of the fleet in the panamax sector has outpaced trade and affected freight rates, shipbrokers on Monday.
"Panamax freight rates are not weaker due to falling demand, but rather because the fleet is growing faster than trade," a broker said.
Rates quoted on the Baltic Panamax Index
reflected a negative trend across the board, with average daily rates for transatlantic round voyages and fronthaul charter starting to ease back, brokers said.
They said average panamax freight rates had dropped around 10 percent over the past six months.
Shipbrokers also reported the charter of the 1999-built 72,270 dwt Sea Daisy
in early July, for Rotterdam delivery followed by a transatlantic round voyage at a daily rate of $11,250.
Meanwhile, the 1990-built 72,136 dwt C Filyos was booked for early loading in the Mississippi River for a trip via Egypt with redelivery set for Cape Passero
at a daily rate of $11,150 and a $205,000 ballast bonus.
The older 1984-built 66,916 dwt Amadeus for prompt Recalada delivery with Continent redelivery had been booked at a daily rate of $10,000 and a $300,000 ballast bonus, brokers said.
Other examples included the 1993-built 69,268 dwt Torm Tekla, booked on a retro basis for Rotterdam delivery. The panamax is set for a trip via the US Gulf and Saudi Arabia.