Freight: Atlantic Panamax Rates At 18-Month Low

The Atlantic market for panamax bulk carriers is experiencing a sharp fall as rates hit their lowest levels so far this year, and charterers hold back grain, iron ore and coal shipments, according to Lloyds List.

Panamax fronthaul and transatlantic voyage rates have retreated to levels last seen in early 2007, with the hammering seen this month forecast to continue, they say.

The transatlantic voyage rate has dropped from around $60,000 per day in late August to under $35,000 per day yesterday. Fronthaul rates are also down to $48,000 per day, well off the highs seen in late May of $112,000 per day, and around $70,000 per day commanded a month ago.

Even during the crash in dry bulk freight rates last January, transatlantic rates held up at around the $50,000 per day mark.

Shipowners who have redirected their panamax tonnage from the Pacific region into the Atlantic since August have contributed to the decline.