On the 16th week, the Azov-Black Sea region has again seen a drop in freight rates. Thus, the rate for the shipment of 3,000 tons of wheat from the Azov Sea to the ports of the Marmara Sea is $ 16 per ton. Charterers continue to point out the difficulty of concluding contracts for Turkey and are increasingly focused on the Eastern Mediterranean countries and Italy. At the beginning of May, there will be a slight increase in shipments of corn to these destinations. In addition, on the eve of the fertilizer season, shipments from the Russian river and the ports of the Sea of Azov are gradually gaining momentum. Regarding grain shipments from river ports, charterers still note the unwillingness of cargo owners to reduce the price, as a result of which the rates for cabotage transportation and export shipments from the river continue to fall.
In the short sea market of the Baltic region, freight rates for most destinations remain stable, despite the fact that fuel prices are in no hurry to fall. In terms of tonnage, there is still a shortage of vessels in the Baltic: some shipowners are opening positions of their vessels on the Continent and in the Mediterranean Sea, plus many ships are still under contracts or are already being closed for new ones. However, the end of the first wave of contract shipments is expected in May, which suggests a new tonnage will enter the market. A large flow of cargo is observed towards the ports of ARAG and the UK, while return cargo is in short supply. In this regard, some shipowners are ready to ballast to the Baltic for the sake of attractive cargoes. Regarding cargoes, fertilizer shipments predominate in the market, while grain cargo activity is not observed.