The Azov Sea market was stable last week; there are no reasons for movement in the short term. Rates for the next couple of weeks will be kept at the level of USD 17-18 per ton on the basis of voyages to the Marmara Sea. The market is refrained from a bigger fall only by goods which are not fitted under the duty and quota; though the sentiment in wait for deteriorating situation still remains. Owners of Russian-flagged fleet are trying to find an alternative by working in transit, or by switching to the Caspian Sea, where large Traders may work, even with the duties. With the current high freight level from deep water ports, FOB offers in the Caspian Sea look competitive for Iranian importers.
The market of small tonnage in the Black and the Mediterranean seas remains at a fairly high level. It is worth noting that Owners of coasters, who considered the Azov Sea as a home region, relocated their fleet to work from deep water ports of the Black and Mediterranean seas. It is interesting that grain is not the main factor that forms the freight market at the moment: there is a large number of cargo offers for steel products, coal and fertilizers. In the same period last year, the opposite situation was observed.
The Black and the Mediterranean coasters market of backhaul cargo is still in good spirits. The working level for the voyage from Kherson to Marmara is the average 10s on the basis of 3-5 thousand tons. At the same time, negotiations are more difficult, as far as many Owners are euphoric from the high market and offer rates of about USD 20 per ton. The usual level of low 10s for such cargo is unlikely to be achievable in the near future.