On the 19th week there is a slight increase in freight rates in the Azov Sea region. Thus, the rate for the shipment of 3,000 mts of wheat from Azov to Marmara Sea ports rose to USD 20 pmt. The increase in freight rates in all directions is due to the shortage of vessels in the Azov Sea. Many shipowners still prefer to take cargoes from the Ukrainian Black Sea ports, where charterers offer higher rates, or to operate in the Marmara and Mediterranean Seas. At the same time, the trend for shipments of corn and wheat to the ports of the eastern coast of Italy is maintained quite active, which leads to an increase in rates in this direction also. In addition, it should be noted that there is a shortage of cabotage vessels in the Russian River for grain cargoes from the ports of the Middle Volga towards the Caspian and Azov Seas, since most shipowners prefer better-payed cargoes going in the northern direction.
In the Baltic short sea market there is a large flow of fertilizers to inland ports of the Baltic Sea as well as to the UK. Many shipowners get out of annual contracts, so more tonnage appears on the market, which leads to competitive rates. Many vessels, which came from the Black and Mediterranean Seas are opening in the ports of ARAG and in the Baltic and looking for back cargo. However, some shipowners note that they do not mind staying in this region, since there is a shortage of shipments for the small tonnage in the Black Sea. As for the rates, they remain at the level of the previous weeks, as the demand for ships and fuel prices is still stable.
A similar situation is observed in the deep sea market. Many handy-supramax shipowners have left the Black Sea and moved to the Baltic and Continent due to lack of cargo and low rates. It is more profitable for them to take shipments of fertilizers to South / North America from the Baltic Sea, which will later allow them to easily move to the Asian region, where rates continue to rise. Shipowners are trying to avoid or even exclude any cargo to India due to the disastrous epidemiological situation. Calling India may affect ships not only by an increase in voyage time, but also by a 2-week quarantine.