Freight rates in the Azov-Black Sea region were growing rapidly during the reporting week. 3k parcels of wheat from Azov to the Marmara Sea were being fixed at the level of USD 46 per ton. For a long time, the pace of change in export duties on grains has been low; many Charterers are actively concluding sale contracts with Turkish partners. The end of the harvest in the southern regions of Russia also contributes to the revitalization of supplies. But at the moment, the market is more interested in what will happen next, since an increase in export duties by USD 8-10 is being seriously discussed; this may lead to a serious reduction in cargo offer on the market and to a decrease in freight rates accordingly. This is exactly what made Owners look for cargo for their fleet more actively in order to have time to fix before August 31. There is expected a large number of fixtures in the last week of summer, but no one promises that it will be easy. Owners will try to fix at the highest possible rates, being wary of the market drop in September.
Handy-size market of the Black Sea remains on a very high level. Owners can choose in a plenty of grain-cargoes, and every open vessel can go for Turkey, Egypt or Tunisia. Libya or Lebanon Traders have a lot of troubles as most of the Owners either work with Israel or prefer not to go for Libya due to political reasons. Almost every time Charterers have sufficient volumes of cargo being ready to load and pay in line with market level. Also Charterers say that Libyan ports increased their discharging abilities in order for Owners to spend less time for discharging at ports, but it is still hard to fix something.