13 week: Russian River, Azov / Black Sea, Caspian; Coaster shipments
Freight rates during 13th week have lost several dollars in the Azov region. Currently rates maintain 34 USD per ton basis voyage ex Rostov to Marmara with wheat. This is 2 USD less than level of the last week. According to the forecasts of market participants, in the near future workable freight level may sustain continuous decrease by 1-2 USD a week. Traders explain such decline by the appearance of excess supply of tonnage with opening dates as first days of April. The amount of actual shipments has decreased so as to turn the tide into Charterers’ favor.
Russian producers have substantially increased the prices while Turkish buyers are actively trying to push the market downwards, leaving less possibility for Traders to compete and subsequently reducing the number of actual deals concluded.
Under the contemporary market conditions Ship Owners prefer to make long-distance voyages therefore rates of them were decreasing faster than on short legs. In the second part of April vessels had fixed at rate of 48 USD per ton voyage ex Rostov to Adriatic with wheat, which is 3 USD less than on 12 week.
Shipments ex ports of middle Volga have not yet begun, due to still ongoing ice conditions in the area. As per information from Volgograd elevators, currently the cargo is conveyed mainly for major Charterers who have their own or time-chartered fleet. Generally, we see a weak tonnage demand in the Caspian region, leading to a falling freight. On the 13th week the rates have slightly retreated – they lost 1 dollar per ton basis Astrakhan to Iran and amounted 37 dollars for voyages with wheat.
In addition, a considerable part of Russian-flagged vessels has already concluded contracts for the export of grain from the lower and middle Volga, being ready to start programs execution even from 1 April. However, Ship Owners are forced to look for in-between voyage from Astrakhan to Iran in order to avoid idling due to the fact the dates of opening the navigation on the river were postponed.