Panamaxes for transatlantic round voyages fell to six-week lows on Wednesday as trade was limited by a series of European holidays in the month of May, brokers said.
"It's not looking good, every region is down. To say it's a disaster for owners would not be an understatement," a broker said.
Transatlantic round voyage returns are edging closer to the $11,000-a-day mark.
Brokers said that commodities trading house Cargill booked a 1997-built panamax at $11,500 a day, which underlined the weaker Atlantic market.
Another broker said the panamax market would remain under pressure in the short-term unless charterers had some surprise cargoes to cover.
But this seems unlikely as on Monday public holidays in most of Europe will take a number of European operators out of the market again, brokers said.
Shipbrokers said that the number of one-day holidays in Europe meant that the panamax market will struggle to recover before the summer lull fully hits the market.
They added that without a strong foundation, autumn freight rates would fall short of last year's levels.