The panamax bulker market continued its sharp ascent on Monday to reach its highest point in 13 months.

The Baltic Exchange’s Panamax 5TC set of spot-rate averages across five key routes gained 2.2% to $17,235 per day on Monday.

The last time the average spot rate for panamaxes was above $17,000 per day was on 27 October 2022.

It was a “typical” Monday for panamaxes, in that there was not much fixture activity for the ships, but the market got a boost nevertheless from tight supply, particularly in the Atlantic basin, exchange analysts said on Monday.

“The imbalance in the North Atlantic remains, and many felt further gains were expected this week, with nearby tonnage at a shortage,” they wrote.

South America was also light on fixtures, but sources speculated that the P6 roundtrip voyage between Brazil and Singapore “had some room to improve”, as better deals were getting done off-market.

Asia appeared “a little more well balanced” with more supply, but demand from Australia and the north Pacific should keep rates flat instead of falling, the analysts said.

Panamax futures indicated that the physical market’s upward trend may not last long, as December contracts gained $103 to come in at $15,029 per day.

January contracts picked up $379 to reach $12,629 per day, while February contracts rose $247 to $11,172 per day.