On the 51th week in the Azov sea region the freight rate for the 3000 mts shipment of wheat from Azov to Marmara sea ports is equal to USD 24 per metric ton. This week, the weather started to improve and the water level at ADMC, water level has risen, what has allowed to start movement of vessels to the Azov and Rostov ports. Although a lot of vessels are still waiting for the passage to the above-mentioned ports.

Due to the long delays during the fulfillment of current voyages and absence of vessels’ next open dates, charterers have difficulties with finding vessels on spot and prompt dates.

The Baltic region continues to be quite active in amount of shipments. Most shipowners prefer to keep their fleet within the Baltic Sea because of the continuing increase in freight rates. Thus, the minimum rate for 5k vessel from the port of Kotka to Klaipeda is already EUR 18.50 per ton. Although, some shipowners do agree to go in ballast for the really attractive cargoes, mainly to British and ARAG ports.

Most European charterers try to fulfill their contractual obligations before the holidays, which is why the demand for spot tonnage is increasing. This refers not only to the Baltic region but also to the regions of the Black and Mediterranean Sea. Thus, the freight rate for the 6k grain shipment from Ukraine to Morocco is on the level of USD 37-38 pmt. Morocco, South Spain and North Africa are now popular destinations for the grain trade.

In addition to the active spot shipments, part of the Baltic Sea charterers are already looking for a fleet for their cargo for the end of January. This may be good news for Black Sea shipowners. Many of them are now performing voyages to the Baltic Sea ports and can already find next cargo for their fleet.

On the deep sea market, both in the Baltic Sea and in the Black Sea region, the freight rates on the handy and supra-type vessels remain stable and maintain the level of last week.

One of the important news on the grain market this week was the setting of a tariff quota of 17.5 million tons for the export of wheat, rye, barley and corn outside the Customs Union next year from February,15 to June,30.
Within the quota limits, a duty of EUR 25 per metric ton is imposed on wheat exports (the rest of the grains are not subject to duty). If the quota is exceeded, the export duty will be 50% of the customs value, but not less than EUR 100 pmt. This decision was taken to stabilize the price of flour and bread.