ATHENS, Greece, April 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX), a global shipping company specializing in the ownership and operation of dry bulk vessels, today announced that it has entered into a time charter contract with Rio Tinto Shipping Pty, Ltd., Melbourne, Australia, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, for one of its Panamax dry bulk carriers, the m/v Melia. The gross charter rate is US$9,700 per day, minus a 3.75% commission paid to third parties, for a period of about eleven (11) months to maximum thirteen (13) months. The charter is expected to commence on April 16, 2013. The Melia is a 76,225 dwt Panamax dry bulk vessel built in 2005. This employment is anticipated to generate approximately US$3.05 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the charter. Diana Shipping Inc.'s fleet currently consists of 32 dry bulk carriers (17 Panamax, 2 Kamsarmax, 3 Post-Panamax, 8 Capesize and 2 Newcastlemax), as well as 2 new-building Ice Class Panamax vessels expected to be delivered to the Company during the fourth quarter of 2013. As of today, the combined carrying capacity of our current fleet, excluding the two vessels not yet delivered, is approximately 3.5 million dwt with a weighted average age of 6.1 years. A table describing the current Diana Shipping Inc. fleet can be found on the Company's website, www.dianashippinginc.com . Information contained on the Company's website does not constitute a part of this press release. About the Company Diana Shipping Inc. is a leading global provider of shipping transportation services through the ownership and operation of dry bulk vessels. The Company's vessels are employed primarily on medium to long-term time charters and transport a range of dry bulk cargoes, including such commodities as iron ore, coal, grain and other materials along worldwide shipping routes.