Freight rates in the Azov-Black Sea region continue to grow. The rate for a 3k parcel of wheat from Azov to the Marmara Sea had reached USD 34 per ton. Last week, most market participants concluded deals in advance, so due to the beginning of the holidays in Turkey and the non-working week, the freight market of Azov Sea actually froze. There are cargo offers on the market in the same amount as a week earlier. Though, Owners are not in a hurry to cut deals at all, as they are waiting for the end of the Turkish holidays to size up the situation on the market. Many Owners look positively at the beginning of August and predict that the freight rate for a 3k parcel of wheat to the Marmara Sea will reach USD 37 per ton.
Despite vaccinating sailors by some government, most still rely on vaccinations in their home country. More than half of the 1.6 million seafarers worldwide are from countries such as India, the Philippines or Indonesia, with these countries lagging far behind other countries in terms of vaccinations.
Either the crew or several members will be sick with coronavirus, or they will not be vaccinated, therefore, will not be allowed into the port. This leads to the fact that crewing companies struggling to find members, so the number of ships in operation will be reduced and new disruptions in supply chains are formed. Vessels are forced to stay in ports without employment while waiting for the crew to arrive or current crewmembers must work for 8-9 months in a row, which could lead to great fines for Owners. That is a bad news for Charterers as Owners want to recoup fines, which will affect working freight level for an extra USD 1-2.
South Africa’s Durban port has suffered major disruption after days of unrest, and operations have also been badly affected at the Richards Bay port and on a national freight rail line, logistics and freight companies said on Wednesday 14/07/2021. From 24.00 on Sunday, 11 July 2021, until further notice the various SAFR Terminals reduced the volume of the cargo handling.
In this regard Owners try to avoid SAFR ports and considering ballast passages to both ECSA and PG/OG range. For example, a voyage with fertilizers from the Red Sea to Malaysia was seen at mid USD 50’s for 33k vessel. Also, for 12k dwt vessel from WCI to West Mediterranean with steel was seen on low USD 90’s.
Besides, steel from PG to Continent for 35k vessel was fixed on USD high 60’s. An unexpected gap in freight rates at EAFR/SAFR/WCI/PG won’t last long. In general, most Owners in Continent/Med turned on the spot regime, collecting the best freight. Charterers at the same region are mainly preferred to hold the cargoes as much as possible, at least trying to fix it off market. A voyage from the Black Sea to Egypt Mediterranean with grains was seen for low USD 30’s (USD 32). A voyage from Continent to West Mediterranean with grains was fixed at high USD 20’s.