Panamax owners in the Atlantic have fought off charterers' attempts to push freight rates lower, but panamaxes in the Pacific are weaker due to oversupply, brokers said on Wednesday.
"The Atlantic looks to have reached a level, but the Pacific has some way to go yet," one said.
The Baltic Panamax Index has eased this week, standing 13 points lower at 922 on Wednesday.
Brokers said the increase in the panamax fleet this year was behind the decline in freight rates.
The fleet has added around 40 panamaxes and brokers expect a similar amount to be delivered during the second half of 2001.
Brokers said the trend was reflected in the fixture of the 1994-built 70,196 dwt Eastern Queen, which was due for late August North Pacific delivery followed by a trip to Japan at a rate of $6,000 plus a $60,000 ballast bonus.