Rio deal for Diana

Diana Shipping has secured a fresh period contract for one of its panamax bulkers, brokers say.

New York-listed Diana’s 76,200-dwt Melia (built 2005) has been fixed by Rio Tinto for 11 to 13 months at $12,000 daily, the Baltic Exchange reports.

This would mark a marginal pay rise for Diana from the $9,700 daily the vessel has been earning from the same charterer over the past year.

The ship, for which Diana paid $20.7m in 2012, is one of two the company has on charter to Rio Tinto.

The other is the 76,900-dwt Artemis (built 2006) which is due to come off hire next summer after a two year charter at $9,375 per day.

A new period deal for the Melia comes on a day when panamax spot rates improved to $7,200 daily on the back of increased activity out of South America following a slugging start to the grain season.

With capesizes rates coming down again today the Baltic Dry Index slipped back below 1,000 daily.