In the context of prolonged May weekend freight market shows a reduction in business activity in the Azov region. Market participants note that the revival is possible by the beginning of the 20th week. Owners of Russian-flagged tonnage are looking for shipments from middle ports of the Volga, where navigation has already begun, since rates from the river are slowing down. Currently rates maintain 54 USD per ton basis voyage ex Samara to Iran with wheat. At the same time, market participants comprehend that hauls from the Azov Sea are on the verge of cost price, and cannot further decline so rapidly.
The regularity of export shipments to Turkey is affected by the absence of a trade attaché in Novorossiysk untill 14th May, who legalizes invoices for grain. This means that now upon arrival at the ports of the discharging in Turkey Shipowners cannot provide the necessary set of documents, which is certified in the Turkish consulate, and without them it is impossible to proceed with custom clearance of the goods. Thus, the freight rate ex Rostov to Marmara during 17th week reached 19 USD pmt, losing 3 USD.
In the current market conditions Shipowners, who traditionally work only on short legs to Turkish ports, are ready to consider other directions, including Libya and Syria, where workable freight rate is higher considering all risks.
Nowadays the Caspian region, in opposite to the Azov area, is more stable. At the moment there is a balance between supply and demand for tonnage, which supports a steady freight rate. Shipowners who fixed for 3-5 consecutive voyages a month ago at rates of 4-6 USD higher than the actual level, with the opening of navigation turned out to be far-sighted, as by the 16th week rates on the route Samara-Iran dropped 6 USD.