Transatlantic Panamax Rates Hit Six-Week Lows

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 30, 2001

Panamaxes for transatlantic round voyages fell to six-week lows on Wednesday as trade was limited by a series of European holidays in the month of May, brokers said.

"It's not looking good, every region is down. To say it's a disaster for owners would not be an understatement," a broker said.

Transatlantic round voyage returns are edging closer to the $11,000-a-day mark.

Brokers said that commodities trading house Cargill booked a 1997-built panamax at $11,500 a day, which underlined the weaker Atlantic market. Another broker said the panamax market would remain under pressure in the short-term unless charterers had some surprise cargoes to cover. But this seems unlikely as on Monday public holidays in most of Europe will take a number of European operators out of the market again, brokers said.

Shipbrokers said that the number of one-day holidays in Europe meant that the panamax market will struggle to recover before the summer lull fully hits the market.

They added that without a strong foundation, autumn freight rates would fall short of last year's levels.

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