On the 5th week, the Azov-Black Sea region records the preservation of last week’s freight levels for most shipment destinations. Thus, contracts for the shipment of 3,000 tons of wheat from Azov to Marmara Sea ports are still concluded on average at the level of USD 39. Despite the fact that, in general, there is a lull in the grain market this week and it is extremely difficult for charterers to conclude sale contracts, the level of freight is maintained due to the withdrawl of some vessels to the Black Sea ports, where trade is somewhat more active. It is worth noting that this year, on the eve of the introduction of quotas, there was no strong demand for spot tonnage, as happened a year ago. The biggest demand for grain products is observed in the Italian and Greek markets, there are also requests for Cyprus and Lebanon. The Turkish market continues to record an extremely low level of demand for grain crops.

In the Caspian region, the cost of freight is gradually increasing due to the high demand for tonnage. A number of charterers are trying to ship their corn and barley cargoes to Iranian ports before export quota’s coming into force. However, some market players preferred to wait for the results of the quota allocation and not take risks with the search for spot vessels.
The water level is still quite low, which prevents the full load capacity of the vessel from being used, which also greatly affects frt rates levels.
Makhachkala is currently the main shipping port for grain cargoes. Freight cost from this port to Amirabad is USD 30 pmt.

Freight rates in the Baltic region showed an increase this week. This was influenced both by a significant reduction in the open positions of the small-tonnage fleet, and the reluctance of many shipowners to work cargo from the ports of St. Petersburg and Ust-Luga, due to ice convoy. On the 5th week, the freight rate from Ust-Luga to Gent increased to 64 euros per ton.