Atlantic Panamax Business Slows

Wednesday, January 31, 2001
The buoyancy detected in the Atlantic Panamax market over the past fortnight has waned, brokers said on Tuesday. Fresh orders from the U.S. Gulf were described as light and the limited opportunities in the area could prompt Panamax owners to accept softer levels, they said. Restricted barge movement along the Mississippi was also said to be contributing to the situation, while a number of Far East participants had yet to return to business after the Lunar New Year holiday. Despite the slowdown, brokers did report a number of fresh enquiries. Grain cargoes seeking Panamax transport included some heading to the Far East from the U.S. Gulf and others heading towards Egypt. Whether the softer Atlantic Panamax undertone would persist, however, or whether the market would bounce back, remained to be seen, brokers said. In the wake of the seven-point drop on the Baltic Panamax Index on Tuesday afternoon, brokers continued to speculate on future developments. - (Reuters)
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