On the 7th week freight rates in the Azov-Black Sea region rose slightly, reaching the level of $ 35 per ton for a shipment of 3,000 tons of wheat from the Azov Sea to the ports of the Marmara Sea. This small increase of the spot market is primarily due to unfavorable weather conditions in the Black and Marmara Seas. Many vessels cannot pass the Bosphorus Strait or are forced to wait in Kerch, as a result of which there is a shortage of spot fleet for the implementation of the latest wheat contracts with a the export fee of 25 euros per ton.

The shortsea market in the Baltic region is expected to increase rates due to the growth of bunker prices. The upward trend in bunker prices is expected to persist in the coming weeks, what may contribute to an even greater rise in freight rates. Also, according to the weather forecast, the cold weather will last until March 10 in the Baltic, so the ice situation will remain complicated. Long queues are observed in the ports of the Baltic basin, which leads to delays in shipments and disruption of shipowners’ schedules. Regarding of directions, despite the difficult ice conditions, most ship owners are not very inclined to leave the Baltic region, but some of them are ready to consider profitable voyages to the ports of the Mediterranean and Black Seas.