As anticipated, the freight market in the Azov region sank under pressure of large amount of spot tonnage during the 13th week. Freight rates for Turkish destinations decreased by $ 2-3 per ton.
The lack of cargo stems from the high volatility of the Turkish lira and the local elections to the city’s parliaments in the largest Turkish cities. Under conditions of uncertainty importers chose to suspend procurement programs, which significantly affected the supply of cargoes on the market. As a consequence, Owners had to accept lower rates in order to keep fleet turnaround and to avoid downtime.
Owners interested in voyages from river to the Black Sea faced the number of problems. First of all, ice is still standing partially in the regions located above Volgograd, therefore river elevators are planning the launch only in mid-April. In the Samara region navigation may be delayed until the end of April or the beginning of May. Secondly, according to unofficial information, fleet will not be allowed to pass through the area from Rostov to Volgodonsk due to ongoing repair of the Bagaevskiy hydroelectric complex on and from the 1st of April. Official prospects are expected by the middle of the 14th week.
In the Caspian region there has been some rebound associated with renewed activity of Iranian buyers. The average market rates of river ports began to be determined, where there was almost no firm work over the past few weeks, and Charterers only made plans because of the lack of importers in the market. In addition to it, many Charterers, who sold their lots during the Iranian holidays, have not received payment from the receivers yet, which doesn’t allow them to purchase new lots for export. On the whole the increase in demand for fleet in the region remains steady, such that some Owners will relocate their fleet to the Caspian region, using the “transit” grain voyages from Don to Iran. Due to the high demand for such voyages, their rates are growing more slowly compared to shipments from the ports on the Volga River.