The Azov region’s market demonstrates a tendency for a U-turn, and freight rates have gradually veered downwards. During the reporting week, rates has decreased by 1-3$ and now amount approximately to 42$ basis wheat RST -TBS. According to market participants, this is caused by the decline in demand for grains from the Turkish side. The CIF-price on high-protein wheat in Turkey has dropped roughly by 5$ over the two last weeks, and the trend towards growing remains. As practice shows, the decrease in freight rates on grains usually pulls down the global level of freight rates in the region, including those on voyages from the Black Sea.
In the Azov region, the problem with the water level of the roads and berthing area in the ports of Yeisk, Taranrog, Azov and Rostov caused by offshore winds has aggravated again. This has led to a large accumulation of vessels in the Azov-Don Marine Canal region and in berthing port areas. Theoretically, this can support the freight market in the nearest future, like it happened in the same period last year, and still most market participants admit the presence of a declining trend in freight rates.
Limited access for vessels has been introduced to the berths of Rostov AB due to repair works of the bridge. Loading at all berths of RST AB entail additional risks of idling, and freight rates from RST AB do not decrease, but stay on the previous week’s level.
As reported by agents, the ice campaign in the Azov Sea will be started on December 11, 2017. From that moment on, vessels will be charged the ice dues in the ports of Rostov, Azov and Yeisk. Specifically the imposition of ice restrictions and icebreaker assistance are planned to begin from December 20, 2017.
Transit passage into the internal waterways is closing December, 1. Vessels that were planned, but lack time to enter the canal within this timeframe, are making urgent changes in their winter programs and seeking long-term winter contracts, which adds up to the freight rate’s decline at the moment.
In the Volga-Don region, weather conditions still allow Ship Owners to undertake long voyages from the river. Some Charterers, in the hope to transport their last parcels from the river, even pay extras for passing through Volga locks out of their own pockets. And even so, freight rates on voyages from Astrakhan in the Caspian Sea has shown negative dynamic during past weeks