The increasing of freight rates continues on 50th week in Azov sea region. The freight rate for 3000 Mts of wheat from port Azov to Marmara sea ports is already USD 23. The situation with bad weather conditions remains on the Kerch Strait. Since December 9, due to strong fog, any passage of vessels is prohibited, which has led to a huge queue for passage, which is already about 150-200 vessels.

This has led to an almost complete absence of spot tonnage in the Azov region. Most shipowners refuse to fix their vessels for short distances and continue to search for long-distance voyages in order not to remain in Russian ports for the New Year holidays.

In the Caspian region freight rates are still at very high level compared to Azov sea region. The price for shipment of 3000 mts of corn from Astrakhan to NIP has remain on the last week level and is equal to USD 39 PMT. There has been a tendency in increasing in the number of grain shipments from port Makhachkala.

A lot of charterers are trying to fix vessels for consecutive voyages in order to ship all their grain stock guaranteed to Northern ports of Iran.