ATHENS, Greece, Dec. 01, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE:DSX), (the "Company"), a global shipping company specializing in the ownership of dry bulk vessels, today announced that, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it has entered into a time charter contract with Koch Shipping Pte Ltd, Singapore, for one of its ize dry bulk vessels, the m/v New Orleans. The gross charter rate is US$11,250 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of minimum twelve (12) months to maximum sixteen (16) months. The charter is expected to commence on December 10, 2016. The "New Orleans" is a 180,960 dwt Capesize dry bulk vessel built in 2015. The Company also announced that, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it has entered into a time charter contract with Uniper Global Commodities SE, Düsseldorf, for one of its Panamax dry bulk vessels, the m/v Melite. The gross charter rate is US$8,000 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of minimum seven (7) months to maximum ten (10) months. The charter is expected to commence on December 6, 2016. The "Melite" is a 76,436 dwt Panamax dry bulk vessel built in 2004. The employments of "New Orleans" and "Melite" are anticipated to generate approximately US$5.73 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charters. Diana Shipping Inc.'s fleet currently consists of 46 dry bulk vessels (2 Newcastlemax, 14 Capesize, 3 Post-Panamax, 4 Kamsarmax and 23 Panamax). The Company also expects to take delivery of two new-building Newcastlemax dry bulk vessels during the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. As of today, the combined carrying capacity of the Company's fleet, excluding the two vessels not yet delivered, is approximately 5.2 million dwt with a weighted average age of 8.1 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 global provider of shipping transportation services through its ownership 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.