Average Atlantic panamax earnings sank to new lows on Monday, quashing hopes that the market had bottomed out, brokers said.
"We've given up predicting when the market will stop falling," one Norwegian broker said.
"It's not so much of a summer slowdown, (it is) more of a summer shutdown," he added.
Brokers said that charterers' offered levels for transatlantic panamax round voyages had now fallen through the $7,000-a-day barrier.
Commodities trading house Cargill booked
the 1999-built Alpha Future
for a transatlantic trip at $7,000 a day and this deal was expected to be one of the last concluded at this level, brokers said.
The outlook for Pacific panamaxes was also bleak, London brokers said.
Pacific panamaxes have fallen below $6,000 a day, well below the levels seen in 1999, brokers said.
"This is extremely bad. Up until now we have been able to be optimistic that no matter how bad it got, earnings were still above 1999's," one said.