Panamax Sector Remains Positive

Thursday, March 01, 2001
The Panamax sector remains positive, although the prompt market is turning cautious, shipbrokers said. While freight rates and indices continue to show either gains or at least repeats of last done healthy levels, the early March market undertone is seen as slightly softer. In the Atlantic, shipbrokers report that so far there are no fixtures to support softer sentiment. Fixtures such as the charter of the 1997 built 73,606 dwt CSK Eminence booked for delivery Amsterdam in early March show a stable market. The ship has been fixed for two laden legs at a rate reported to be $11,500 daily. Meanwhile, cargo enquiry out of the U.S. Gulf is limited, although fixtures that have been reported show a steady market. The Panamax chartered to transport a 56,000 ton heavy grain cargo from the U.S. Gulf to Taiwan at a freight rate of $21.00 per ton reflects this. Loading is scheduled for between March 9 and 19. But softer freight rates are expected over the next couple of days for prompt cargoes. Panamax business generally is seen as slow, with market activity described as dull. London shipbrokers report that Panamax business in the Pacific is reasonable, although they struggle to retain freight rates for prompt business at last done levels. Also, there is limited demand from South Korean charterers, said shipbrokers. - (Reuters)

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