Panamax freight rates continued
to climb steadily higher as fresh cargoes supported the sector. The Panamax market started
the week relatively quietly, due in part to the Presidents Day holiday
in the U.S. on Monday, but market sentiment remained buoyant. With the Baltic Panamax Index providing daily reassurance that all Panamax routes are on the rise, an average increase of the four Panamax timecharter routes
by around $150 daily added to the positive tone. Shipbrokers said fixtures were starting to cover a number of March loading cargoes, but added that late February dates still peppered reports.
The charter of the 1982-built 63,881-dwt Sea Charm at $20.90 per ton for a 55,000 ton heavy grain cargo scheduled to sail from the US Gulf to China was one of the later February fixtures.
Meanwhile, the 1982-built 66,919-dwt Militos had been booked for positive $10,500 daily, brokers said.
With the approach of the South American grain season, there was much speculation about the prices charterers would pay for certain runs, brokers said.
In particular, they said they were waiting for details of a Cargill fixture for a Panamax due to load mid-March in Brazil for a voyage to Hamburg. - (Reuters)