Some shipping brokers expect spot freight rates for Panamax bulk carriers to decline next spring when a large number of new bulk carriers enter service. About 100 newly built bulk carriers with cargo capacities of 50,000 to 80,000 tons are to be delivered in 2001, up from about 70 vessels this year, possibly causing rates to fall, the brokers said. Spot rates for Panamax bulk carriers for the U.S. Gulf/Japan route have recently risen to three-and-a-half year highs.
Japanese shipbuilders have
landed a large proportion of orders to build those bulk carriers, which now constitute the largest and most important category of ships built in Japan.