On the 25th week in the Azov region the freight rates continue to increase by USD 2-3 averagely. Now the freight rate for a “classic” voyage ex Rostov to Marmara is USD 18 per ton of wheat, with tendency for an increase generally. Wheat of the new crop has already begun to appear at the ports of the Azov Sea, which is caused by the continuing heat in the southern part of Russia. According to the forecasts, such weather will last the next two weeks, so the producers began to harvest ahead of schedule out of concern for loss of goods, which may affect the quality of the grain of the new crop.
The major Azov Charterers have already started discussing contract works with Owners for July. Such offers (with the rates above current spot level) give Owners reason to believe that the grain season has begun, so the market will only grow now. Nevertheless, many sea-river type vessels open around the same dates of June 22nd – 24th, and they are on the lookout for cargo. By such manners, abundance of spot tonnage supply warms up the rates for prompt shipments, as Owners are busy searching for cargo for the next dates, and a small number of those who is ready to fix for two weeks in advance creates an artificial deficit.
The rates in the Caspian region are still stable. The lots of new crop corn have not yet appeared, and the shippers are trying to hold barley amid hopes that export prices will increase, which may be caused by drought in the southern regions of Russia. The low level of cargo offers is parried by the weak tonnage supply, in a point of fact, by its low turnover due to known delays in payments. Currently, the freight rate on the basis ex Samara to Iran is USD 45 per ton of the old crop barley.
The intensity of General cargo flow from the Adriatic to Azov and from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea remains at a comparably low spring level without sharp ups and downs. Most freight forwarders are planning shipments at August, more precisely at the peak of the grain season, when the freight rates for similar voyages will be much higher than today.