Pacific Panamax freight rates have dropped sharply in line with weaker Asian Panamaxes, brokers said. Average rates for Pacific round voyages fell to $9,600 daily, down $169 from Monday, and down $217 from last week. Brokers said that the result will make Panamax owners reluctant to trade fronthaul business without negotiating premium rates. The declining rates could deter owners from moving ships into the Pacific, but brokers said that if Panamax owners re-entered the Atlantic, this could support Pacific rates.
For example, the Panamax for the 1986-built 61,013 dwt Andromeda was for Passero delivery in May for a trip via Brazil.
If re-delivery took place in the Atlantic the freight rate would be $10,500 daily, but there is an option for redelivery in the Far East
at $11,500 daily, brokers said. Panamax rates remain strong in the Atlantic. Swiss commodities trading house Glencore (GLCNF)
chartered the 2001-built 75,115 dwt Thalia for mid-May Ghent delivery for a trip via North France and Iran for $16,000 daily, brokers said.
The rate is higher than the $15,000 negotiated by the 1999-built 75,484 dwt Golden Nerina at the end of last week, which was fixed for a Brazil round
voyage. In the voyage charter sector, the 1990-built 68,789 dwt Antwerpia was chartered to carry 56,000 tons of heavy grains from the North Pacific to Japan at a freight rate of $14.10 and is due to load at the end of May for Dreyfus, brokers said. - (Reuters)