Asia Dry Bulk-Capesize owners remain confident even though rates could slip
* Number of idle ships down to around 15, from 70 in early 2016 - broker
* Surge in iron ore, coal prices could drive chartering activity -broker
* Panamax rates close to a 12-month high
By Keith Wallis
SINGAPORE, July 21 (Reuters) - Freight rates for large capesize dry cargo ships on key Asian routes could nudge lower next week although they are generally expected to remain around the current levels, ship brokers said.
"Owners still have confidence in the market," a Shanghai-based capesize broker said on Thursday.
That was reflected through the number of idle capesize ships, which were down to 15 vessels this week, the broker said. That compared with around 70 at the beginning of this year when daily charter rates were less than the operating costs.
"I think rates will remain above $4 per tonne for Australia, and $9 or $8.80 a tonne from Brazil," the broker said.
Owners were rejecting bids from charterers of $8.80-$8.90 per tonne on Thursday, the broker added. Continuación...