Two Himalaya Shipping newcastlemax bulkers have had their index-linked charters converted to fixed-rate employment.

The fixed contracts for the 208,479-dwt Mount Bandeira and Mount Hua (both built 2024) began on 1 February, shortly after delivery from China’s New Times Shipbuilding. The charters will revert to floating rates after 30 June.

Himalaya, which is listed in Oslo, did not specify the rates at which the contracts have been agreed.

But it did say that two vessels have been booked at a gross average of $26,866 per day from April to June.

Five vessels have been covered at a gross average of $24,852 per day during February and March — less than $200 more than Himalaya’s daily cash breakeven rate.

The forward curve for capesize freight derivatives currently indicates rates of just over $18,750 per day for March and $22,000 per day between April and June.

Himalaya’s dual-fuel vessels are fitted with scrubbers and are able to run on LNG fuel, which generated additional daily cost benefits of $2,800-$3,000 per vessel during January, in addition to the freight premium that newcastlemaxes earn over smaller, conventionally sized capesizes.

Himalaya’s six vessels trading on fixed-rate time charters in January earned a gross daily rate of $28,600, including scrubber and LNG fuel benefits.

Its three vessels on index-linked time charters earned about $28,000 per day, including these benefits.

Three vessels are still to be delivered from New Times, one in May and two in June.

Once fully delivered, the Himalaya fleet will comprise 12 newcastlemaxes.