Brazilian panamax liftings were supporting an already firm Atlantic market, brokers said on Thursday.
Earnings for modern Atlantic tonnage had hit the $13,000 a day barrier and were expected to climb further in Friday's trading.
Cargill took a 1994-built panamax for an East Coast South America round voyage, redelivery Skaw to Passero range, on a prompt booking at $13,000 a day.
"The Atlantic (market) is fairly steady, it's not going through the roof, but I think it's fair to say that it is buoyant," said one broker.
A dearth of prompt quality tonnage would support further gains in the Atlantic, he added.
Brokers were less confident about the outlook for the Pacific panamax trades, with one commenting that the Pacific was effectively dragging down the positive Atlantic trade - a sentiment that was mirrored in the Baltic Exchange panamax
index, which barely moved on Thursday.
"It's not a complete disaster, it's just that the strong Atlantic trades are emphasizing the weaker Pacific panamaxes," a broker said.