01/04/2021

On the 13th week, freight rates in the Azov-Black Sea region continue to fall. 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 per ton. Due to the sharp fall in the lira, the conclusion of new contracts with Turkish buyers has been almost completely suspended, as a result of which a very small number of cargo remains on the market. In addition, this week, some Turkish receivers, due to the current difficult economic situation in the country, could not meet their obligations under contracts and pay for cargo, which led to vessels´detention in Turkish ports. In general, the global grain market is experiencing a decline in demand for Russian wheat, followed by a drop in its value. In addition, the domestic market is still unstable and so far traders are unable to agree on the purchase rate of cargo from the fields. This week, navigation along the southern part of the Russian River begins, which will mark the activation of shipments from the ports of the Marmara Sea to the Caspian Sea, as well as fertilizers flow from the Caspian basin countries to the ports of the Black and Marmara Seas.

In the Mediterranean see market many charterers note a sing of thaw. Traders say that commodity prices have stopped rising this week and even dropped slightly in various positions. This trend, in particular, concerns fertilizers exported from the countries of North Africa. The final price of products is also benefited by a slight decrease in freight rates, which can primarily be explained by a slight drop in prices for fuel and related goods. Thus, the trend for fertilizer prices, which has been growing since the second half, may soon decline.

As for deep see market in the Black Sea, there are numerous shipments of 2020 grain harvest from the ports of Russia and Ukraine. Mostly, such cargoes are carried in parcels of 25 thousand metric tons to Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. However, it is noted that the majority of shipowners prefer to avoid grain shipments to Tunisia due to low vessel handling rates, long waiting times on road and in the port, as well as additional costs and congestions. So, the approximate rate of shipowners for 25 thousand tons of barley from Novorossiysk to Tunisia will range from 37 to 40 dollars per metric ton.
Speaking of grain cargo, it is worth noting that over the past few weeks there have been positive forecasts and news regarding the export of grain crops to China. The republic has long-term plans to increase imports of grain, corn and barley from Russia, which are justified not only by warm political relations between the countries, but also by a developed transport infrastructure.

The short sea water market in the Baltic region has seen a slight drop in rates due to warming and the final arrival of spring. Shipments with a tonnage of 3-5 metric tons are gaining activity, in particular cargoes such as fertilizers, coal and some types of grain crops. This week, European shipowners are celebrating Easter, so most of the opening positions in the Baltic is expected after the holidays. Meanwhile, the North and Irish Seas are experiencing severe storms, so most shipowners prefer to stay within the Baltic region and not go beyond the Danish Straits. Thus, the offers of vessels for cargo on the directions to the ports of ARAG and UK are decreasing, despite the fact that shipments there remain relevant. Also, there is a lack of a tonnage in the Baltic because many shipowners have sent their vessels to the Biscay Bay and the Mediterranean Sea, and are currently in search of back cargo.