On the 20th week the freight rates in the Azov-Black Sea region continue to grow. Thus, the rate for the shipment of 3,000 mts of wheat from Azov to Marmara Sea ports is USD 22 pmt. Many charterers prefer having shipped their cargoes before the beginning of June, when the floating export tax will be introduced on export shipments of a number of grain cargoes, such as wheat, corn and barley. The increase in rates is also due to a shortage of spot tonnage, which allows shipowners to set higher rates for their vessels.

The main destinations of shipments are Greece and Italy. Many shipowners are in no hurry to sign contracts for June dates, as they expect the trend of rates increasing to continue. At the same time, grain shipments from the Russian river to the Azov-Black Sea basin direction are practically not observed, since charterers cannot offer competitive rates in the conditions of a sharp increase in rates in the Caspian direction. According to the estimates of both shipowners and charterers, the resumption of shipments from the river is expected only with the beginning of the new season.

As for the short sea market in the Baltic Sea, there is stability in relation to the demand for vessels and the regularity of shipments. In the region, quite a lot of cargo goes inside the basin, but shipments to the UK and ARAG also take place. Stable fuel prices contribute to the stability of rates. It should be noted that many vessels are getting out of annual contracts and are already beginning to consider new ones. Some of them will start at the beginning of June.

As for the deep-sea market, after a long rise in the BDI, the index began to fall again. This is explained by the decrease in demand for vessels such as Capesize and Panamax. For Handy-Supramax vessels, the time-charter equivalent rates have remained stable so far. Shipowners still find the Asia-Pacific region more attractive due to the high volume of cargo and higher rates. However, like last week, they are trying to avoid voyages to India due to the aggravation of the situation with the pandemic.