Panamax freight rates have
eased this week, in line with dwindling grain orders, brokers said on Tuesday.
Rates dropped under the standard $12,000 a day and shipbrokers said they expected activity in the next week
to remain subdued as major grain traders had announced there were no fresh bookings for the first half of April in sight. Nevertheless, the panamax sector is deemed stable, brokers said, as fixture reports for Egypt are on the rise and likely to counter-balance a slowdown of business from South America.
Brokers cited as prime example the charter of the 1999-built 72,891 dwt Ad Astra, for delivery in the U.S Gulf by end-March, followed by a trip via Egypt and redelivery set for passing Passero. The daily rate was fixed at $11,300 plus a $235,000 ballast bonus. - (Reuters)