Atlantic Panamax earnings were given a brief respite from the steady erosion of freight rates that has dogged the sector for the past three weeks, shipbrokers said. Brokers felt that freight rates had hit rock bottom, giving Atlantic Panamax returns one last chance to surge before the end of the year.
The Baltic Exchange reported that charterer GIC paid $20.85 for an unnamed vessel on the key U.S. Gulf to Japan grain
route, which was above last done levels that reached $20.50 earlier in the week for the same route, shipbrokers said. A further two fixtures were reported for the same route at higher freight rates of $21 and $21.25 per ton, confirming Panamax brokers' new-found optimism in the sector. Additionally, increased inquiry from South America should
provide the Panamax market with the motivation to reverse the current downward trend.