On the 12th week, freight rates in the Azov-Black Sea region stopped the rapid decline observed in the last few weeks. 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 18-19 dollars per ton. At the same time, there is still a tendency for a slower reduction in rates for long-distance destinations, such as Mersin, Israel or Italy. All the same, it is worth noting that very few vessels in spot position are opened in the region, which keeps the rates from falling, despite the small number of cargo on the market. It should also be noted that in the near future charterers expect a sharp decline in trade with Turkey due to the sharp fall in the lira exchange rate. At the same time, starting from April 1, starts the navigation in the southern part of the Volga and the Don, so many shipowners are actively looking for cargo from Turkey and the Black Sea to the ports of the Caspian basin.
As for for te Baltic region, there is a shortage of vessels from 3 to 4 thousand tons, since a larger amount of tonnage was fixed at the ports of ARAG and the UK, where there is no abundance of return cargo for the time being. Shipowners note that they face delays during their voyages, in particular due to storms on the West Coast of the UK and in the Danish Straits. This leads to the fact that companies are not able to provide ships for cargo with 2-day laycan for spot shipments, fearing delays to the ports of loading.
Market participants note a slight decrease in rates, primarily associated with falling fuel prices, the abolition of ice conditions and the transition to summer port dues. However, the high demand for ships still remains unchanged due to the large flow of cargo in the Baltic, and this trend is likely to continue, as delayed and new shipments will again appear on the market.
The current week started with a slight drop in rates in the big water market in the Black Sea. The region saw a large number of vessels in spot positions who preferred to wait a few days, expecting the market to pick up again. It should be noted that in connection with the queue in the Suez Canal associated with a grounded container ship, rates are expected to rise in the second half of the week, due to a shortage of tonnage in the Black and Mediterranean Seas.