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Kamsarmax to remain workhorse of panamax segment

Kamsarmax to remain workhorse of panamax segment
Kamsarmaxes will remain the workhorse of the panamax segment for “a very long time”, said Howe Robinson Partners chairman Peter Kerr-Dinesen at the session on the dry bulk trade at the Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference in Hong Kong.

“One of the reason for that is the central role that grain plays within it,” he explained. “We do think that grain, and not iron ore or coal are the greatest providers of employment days for the panamax fleet and in some areas the Kamsarmaxes dominate these trades,” Kerr-Dinesen added.

Meanwhile ultramaxes also have a specific niche role to play within the segment. “My view is that ultramaxes are supramaxes when they’re trading in trades that require gear and they’re panamaxes when they’re trading in trades that don’t,” said Kerr-Dinesen.

Elaborating, he pointed out that these vessels are able to use the different geographical characteristics of the two main trades to maximise their earnings. For example, they can get into the US Gulf basin on paid legs and therefore can be very competitive against panamaxes on the outbound leg because the latter would have ballasted in.

“I think they’re going to make a really interesting change in the way that the markets work,” Kerr-Dinesen concluded.

While it is unclear how exactly it will change the market, other panel speakers believed that panamax vessel values will be affected. “I don’t see ultramaxes as replacing them; there will still be areas where you will be needing panamaxes but there will obviously be an impact, undermining values,” said Noble Chartering head Michael Nagler, adding that he would rather be long ultramax and short panamax in this market situation.

TAGS: Asia Dry Bulk