Asia Dry Bulk -No sign of improvement in capesize rates as owners lay-up ships
* Poor rates lead owners to lay-up 6-7 capesize ships -broker
* Capesize market "pretty grim" -broker
* Panamax rates likely to fall on increased tonnage -broker
By Keith Wallis
SINGAPORE, March 19 (Reuters) - Rates for capesize bulk carriers, which have been close to six-year lows for the last two months, show little sign of improvement as a tonnage glut and scarcity of cargo continue to weigh on the market, brokers said.
Owners' gloom about the state of the capesize market has led several operators to put their 180,000 dwt (deadweight tonne) capesize vessels in "hot lay-up", a Singapore-based capesize broker said on Thursday.
That is where ships are anchored, onboard equipment including engines partially mothballed and the crew is cut to save costs for an extended period.
"There are six or seven ships we know about," the broker added. That indicated those owners saw little prospect of a significant improvement in the capesize market for six to nine months, the broker said.
Average daily capesize freight rates have been below daily operating costs since mid-December, data from British shipping services firm Clarkson showed. Continuación...