Panamax Rates Hold Firm

Wednesday, June 21, 2000
Asia's Panamax rates for dry bulk cargo are expected to remain firm this week on strong vessel demand for grain and mineral exports and support from a rebound in Capesize, traders said. "Panamax freight rates are holding firm this week," said a shipping trader in Seoul. "The rates are a bit firmer than we expected ahead of the slow summer season." Active grain and oilseed exports from South America were providing support to the Panamax market, along with steady exports of coking coal from China, Indonesia and Australia, he said. The Panamax rates were also supported by a rebound in Capesize rates since late last week, he added. Spot freight rates for U.S. Gulf/Japan for Panamax cargoes were unchanged at about $23.25-$23.50 per ton from last week, a shipping broker said. The timecharter rate for hiring modern Panamax vessels to transport cargo from the Atlantic to the Far East stood at around $11,500 a day, plus a $250,000 ballast bonus, barely changed from last week, he said. U.S. Gulf/Japan freight rates for Panamax shipments for late July/early August remained around $22.50-$22.75 a ton since a week ago, he said. Freight rates to South Korea and Taiwan are expected to be about $0.50 a ton less than spot and forward rates on the U.S. Gulf/Japan route, traders said. They said spot timecharter rates for the Pacific round for modern Panamaxes were at $12,000-$12,250 per day, against $12,000 per day a week ago.

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