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.