An increase in caper demand and consequent higher rates coupled with significantly stronger levels of enquiry for panamaxes, especially from Japanese charterers in the Far East
, were positive features for owners, brokers said.
The Panamax development was also seen as positive for Atlantic rates as it was likely to reduce the number of vessels ballasting from the Pacific to the U.S. Gulf.
The Baltic Freight Index
(BFI) rose eight points to 1,051, the Baltic Panamax Index gained three points to 996, the Baltic Capesize Index jumped 28 points to 1,300, and the Baltic Handy Index
was up three points to 845 points.
Brokers said that grain charterers requiring panamaxes on the Continent for business to the Middle East were forced to increase their rate ideas sharply. Modern vessels were asking at least $10,000 daily against charterers ideas of over $9,000.
Egyptian charterers were thought to be trading Panamax tonnage for U.S. Gulf/Egypt, while Ator was linked with similar business to Iran. Both were on timecharter basis but further detail were unknown.
Charterers were firm for 54,000 tons heavy grains U.S. Gulf/Japan for October at $19.75 no combo. Brokers said the rate for earlier positions was some 50 cents less.
Cargill fixed 50,000 tons pellets Paranagua/South Korea for September 12/17 at a little over $21, and Toepfer fixed Phoenix M 1.2 million cubic feet grain U.S. Gulf/Ireland spot at $15 fio basis 55 feet seven days.
In the East, Oinoussian Sky 64,300 dwt was fixed for grain from Nopac end September to the Far East at $6,000 daily plus $60,000 ballast bonus.