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Panamaxes Seen Profitable by Morgan Stanley for Two Months

March 25 (Bloomberg) -- Rates for Panamax vessels that typically haul cargoes of grains and coal are expected to stay at “profitable levels” for another two months because of delays at South American ports, according to Morgan Stanley.

Returns for Panamaxes, the largest vessels to navigate the Panama Canal, have nearly doubled since February, rising to $10,000 a day because of “strong” South American grain production, Fotis Giannakoulis, a New York-based analyst at the investment bank, said in an e-mailed report today.

Rates are expected to stay profitable while as many as 200 Panamax and Handymax vessels continue to be affected by congestion and wait to collect grain cargoes, Giannakoulis said, citing figures from New York-based researcher Commodore Research & Consultancy. Earnings will then decline as the harvest season ends and deliveries of new ships swell the global fleet, he said.

Returns for Panamaxes gained 0.2 percent to $9,680 a day, figures today from the London-based Baltic Exchange showed. That’s the highest since May 22, according to the bourse.

The Baltic Dry Index, a wider measure of commodity freight rates, rose for an 19th session to 935, exchange data showed. Returns for Capesize ships, the largest dry bulk carriers able to haul at least 150,000 metric tons of iron ore, were little changed at $4,982 a day.

Daily earnings for Supramax vessels rose 0.3 percent to $10,259, according to the exchange. Handysizes, the smallest ships within the index, added 0.1 percent to $8,043, staying at the highest since Aug. 2.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Sheridan in London at rsheridan6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net

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