Rapidly rebounding midsize bulker rates lifted the dry bulk spot markets despite the blow of an Indonesia coal ban. The P5TC, the Baltic Exchange’s measure of panamax bulker spot rates on key routes, opened the shipping marketplace’s first trading day of the year at nearly $25,900 per day. That marked an 11.7% jump since the last trading day on 24 December, when rates clocked in at just $23,200 per day. Tuesday’s P5TC was the highest level since 14 December, before rates touched bottom at just under $20,800 per day a week later.

With a smaller uptick in capesize rates and a slump in the average earnings for smaller vessels, the panamaxes pushed the Baltic Dry Index up 68 points to 2,285. “It was the first day back for some post-festive holidays, but on the surface, it appears the market has continued to thrive despite holidays with firmer numbers being talked and reported,” the Baltic Exchange said in its daily report. Baltic analysts said the Atlantic panamax market saw “substantial gains” both in the north and south because of fresh demand. They said the market in Asia was buoyant despite by a decision by Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources to halt exports of coal amid a power crisis, thanks to demand from the east coast of South America pushing up rates. “The immediate outlook appeared firm to many sources,” the Baltic Exchange said.

The day’s fixtures saw Tata NYK Shipping linked to a charter of Hydroussa Navigation’s 82,000-dwt kamsarmax Astrea (built 2016) for a journey from China to the east coast of Australia with redelivery in India. The India-focused bulker operator is paying $26,000 per day. In another kamsarmax fixture, Bulk Marine reportedly picked up Blue Planet Shipping’s 82,000-dwt Axios (built 2016) for $1,000 per day more on a similar route. That’s well above the $18,500 per day reported for the last-done kamsarmax fixture on 23 December for a similar fixture. Among the day’s Atlantic fixtures was Cargill’s charter of NYK Line’s 82,200-dwt Key Action (built 2010) for a prompt voyage two laden legs in the Atlantic, including the first from the Saint Lawrence River, at $36,000 per day.