Freight rates for Panamaxes trading the Atlantic appear to be steadying, Reuters reported
. The more stable tone began at the end of last week, as renewed optimism crept into the U.S. Gulf market for nearby positions. By Monday, while the Atlantic routes on the Baltic Panamax Index
were lower, losses were greatly reduced. Meanwhile, Pacific Panamax freight rates remained firm, and levels in the Far East sector continued to rise. Looking ahead, with the Lunar New Year fast approaching any major change in trend is unlikely over the coming week.
This quashed any high expectations for an Atlantic Panamax rally, they said. Any positive movement is forecast to be steady - at least until after the Far East holiday. Then, activity is expected pick up with the Panamax sector ready to absorb an accelerated business pace and possibly better freight rates. Meanwhile, week-on-week earnings for Panamax tripcharter from the Far East to the Continent have risen to an average of $11,000 daily according to Clarkson Research Studies, up $1,000 on last week. Trip charter rates for Panamax transpacific round voyages have also shown strong gains, bringing average daily earnings to around $10,500. Week-on-week average Panamax earnings for the Atlantic Panamax trades have eased back slightly to around $9,250 daily for Continent to Far East trips
, and also transatlantic round voyages.