On the 8th week freight rates in the Azov-Black Sea region began to decline. Thus, contracts for the shipment of 3,000 tons of wheat from the Azov Sea to the ports of the Marmara Sea are concluded at the level of $ 30 per ton. The drop of the market is due to the return of a large number of fleet to the Sea of Azov after the improving of weather conditions in the Black and Marmara Seas. In addition, there are only a few days left before the introduction of the second export fee on shipments of wheat: after March 1, the export of wheat in small vessels will be practically reduced to zero. Many charterers are counting on a sharp drop of the market next week, but there is a strong chance that the market will continue the smooth decline observed over the past month, as many charterers will try to find a vessel before March 15, the date of the introduction of the export fee on corn. In addition, in the conditions of reducing freight rates, coal and sulfur shippers become more active: they had postponed the contracts planned for the winter till spring, since shipments with a high level of freight went to a loss.

With spring approaching, more and more shipowners in the short sea market of the Baltic region are starting to enter the eastern ports of the Baltic and show the positions of their vessels in the Gulf of Finland. This is due to the fact that the cold is gradually beginning to subside and more and more vessels can enter the ice ports. Also, there is a large amount of cargoes in spot position on the market, which allows freight rates to be kept high.
On the 8th week of the year fuel prices continue to grow. Thus, freight rates on the deep-sea market are increasing. This growth is very noticeable in supramax/ultramax segment for cargoes, going from Black sea to India and South China ports. For instance, freight rate for deadweight cargo from Novorossiysk to South China sea ports varies from 47 up to 50 USD PMT. Charterers, who observe this market, prefer to postpone their shipments and wait until freight rates will fall.

Black and Mediterranean Seas market is also considered by many owners to be “aggressive” at the moment, particularly because of high demand for mini-bulk carriers. For a tonnage of 7-13 thousand tons, there is a sufficient amount of cargo on the market, both in the Black Sea and in Western Mediterranean. This provokes the growth of already high rates. However, many owners prefer to take cargo to the Eastern Mediterranean, due to the availability of back cargo and cheaper fuel prices.
In a bid to encourage wider adoption of just in time (JIT) arrival principles in the bulk sector, BIMCO has published a new clause for voyage charter parties to promote more efficient shipping procedures and as a result, help reduce CO2 emissions.

BIMCO believes that the widespread adoption of JIT arrivals in the bulk sector will bring many benefits including reductions in fuel consumption, emissions and waiting times in ports and at anchorage. In addition, the concept will make shipping more efficient and improve vessel utilization. From a charterers’ perspective, the JIT scheme should help foster a greater focus on setting more accurate laycans. Currently, charterers often agree laycans that have ships hurrying to arrive at ports to meet a cancelling date only to end up waiting for lengthy periods at anchorage before berthing.