Far East Holidays Cripple Shipbrokers' Forecasts

Wednesday, April 18, 2001
The panamax market is clouded by the prospect of Far Eastern holidays in less than two weeks, shipbrokers said on Wednesday.

Brokers are unwilling to give forecasts beyond April 29 - the start of Golden Week. "We made it through Easter unscathed, but Golden Week is a different matter. Every year we're shocked at the slack trade, it's like we forget how important the Far Eastern market is," a broker said.

Inquiry for Pacific basin panamaxes remained slow with modern tonnage hoping for $11,000 per day for North Pacific - Australia round voyages. Special positions, such as West Coast India, could get a premium for short trips, brokers said, citing the booking for the 1989 built Nemea. The Piraeus-based Goulandris Bros-controlled ship won $14,500 per day from Japanese charterers.

A 20001 built panamax was booked at $11,400 per day by Chinese charterers for a North Pacific round voyage, providing hope for further gains this week.

Norwegian brokers felt that the overall undertone for panamaxes remained firm short-term, even though Wednesday's freight activity was slower.

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