On the 27th week the grain export restrictions were lifted what has to lead to improvements on freight markets in all regions and raising of freight rates. Owners offer higher rates waiting for expecting a sharp increase in demand for spot vessels. However, most participants of grain market are confident that there will be no significant changes on the market till mid July.

A significant part of the companies is not yet ready to talk about shipments by sea. This trend is mainly associated with long harvesting of new crops, which prevents companies from deciding on the dates of future shipments. Large companies, in their turn, continue to fix for forward dates in order to fulfill their obligations under concluded contracts.

On the Azov sea market the freight rates are on the same level, USD 16-17 for 3000 mts shipment of wheat from Azov to Marmara sea ports. There are more cargoes on the market. However, it is too early to talk about an improvement on the freight market, since most market participants are waiting for harvest results for contracts conclusion.

On the Caspian region the situation is the same and there is still low trading activity on the direction Astrakhan – NIP. Freight rates remain on the level USD 20-21 PMT for the shipment of 3000 mts of corn. As for Kazakhstan, the harvest there begins even later and before August-September there will be no particular activity from the port of Aktau.

On the deep sea market there is a small activity in coal trading. This week there were a lot of tenders for shipment of coal cargoes from Black Sea ports to East Asia. Nevertheless, the sale of coal itself is now quite difficult, due to the pandemic and the incomplete opening of factories and plants. The freight rates from Novorossiysk to the ports of the Mediterranean Sea for shipment a 30k cargo remain at the level of $ 8-10 per ton.

The introduction of new grain export restrictions for the first half of the agricultural year is not currently expected. As for the second half of grain season, everything will depend on the volume of harvested crops and, as a result, on the level of grain stocks on the domestic market.

One of the important news on the freight market was producing of COVID-19 crew change clause by BIMCO. This clause gives owners the liberty to deviate for crew changes under tightly defined circumstances and the costs will be shared between the shipowner and the charterer.