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Dry bulk rates on Asian routes set to rise

Rates for mid-sized dry bulk carriers on key Asian freight routes are expected to rise in the near future with tight supplies in the supramax market due to strong intra-Asia demand, according to a Reuters report.

For the capesize market, freight rates were seen remaining under pressure on ample tonnage and fears of further bad weather in Australia, shipbrokers said.

Rates for supramax shipments from Australia to Japan and South Korea, two major coal importers, rose to a two-month high of USD$12,518 a day on Wednesday from $9,468 last week.

The market has steadily rebounded from a 23-month low of $7,273 earlier this month.

''The Pacific market remains tight on tonnage and although certainly quieter, rates continued to firm,'' said broking firm ICAP. ''The market here for the remainder of the week looks set to remain firm.''

Rates for supramax shipments from the east coast of India to China rose to a five-month high of $17,850 from $14,908 last week.

In the panamax market, rates came under pressure on fewer fixtures for US and South American grain cargo to Asia compared to last week.

The Baltic Exchange's rate for vessels travelling via the transpacific eased to $13,438 a day from a two-month high of $15,398 last week.

''The positive trend from last week gradually faded out, led by lack of fresh US Gulf and East Coast South American grain requirements in the Atlantic,'' said broker firm Fearnleys. Benchmark capesize fixture rates from Australia to China eased to $6.542 a tonne from $6.800 last week, pressured by trade disruptions caused by bad weather in Australia. -- Story by Reuters