Freight rates continue to decline on the Azov market. Despite the strengthened ruble at the 16th week, the intensity of cargo traffic is still low. Russian producers prefer to hold on the goods attempting to raise the market; such conditions compel the Exporters to avoid new contracts due to low marginality. Reduced supply of goods on the market pushes the rates down.
Seeing dramatic falling of rates in the Azov basin, some Owners of “see-river” vessels are routed on voyages from the Black Sea ports as it getting more profitable. According to some Charterers, the exodus of the fleet to the Black Sea ports may become the cause of falling freight rates from the ports of the Azov area, as the supply of tonnage in the Azov will decrease soon.
In the Caspian region during the week 15 freight level bss Astrakhan – Iran has lost 1 USD and reached 34 USD pmt. The owners of Russian-flagged tonnage are trying to refocus their fleet from the Caspian region and take general cargo from Black or Mediterranean Sea back to the Caspian at more favorable rates. In addition, Charterers note a weakening supply of corn by Russian agricultural producers. As corn is one of the most sought-after goods in the region, this situation adds to current gloom in the area.
Exporters have faced the problem of delivering cargo to river ports because of seasonal drying of the roads. Nowadays it takes more time to haul goods to the elevators and to form parcel. Consequently there is a lack of cargo supply on the market, which resulting in fewer contracts and falling rates. The drying period of roads will last: until 26 April – in the Saratov region, until 30 April – in the Samara region, until 15 May – in the Volgograd region.