49 week: Russian River, Azov Sea, Caspian Sea; Coaster shipments
One of the major events of the 49th week in the Azov region is the confrontation between the weather and the market. Due to the dramatically low permissible draft in the ports of Rostov and Azov, the loading and movement schedule of vessels was disrupted. The water level was less than 3 meters, which led to idleness of the fleet. Demand from the side of buyers is still low, and some Charterers are trying to get a correspondingly low rate; however, due to delays in rotation caused by weather, freight remains at the same level: about USD 23 on the basis of the voyage from Rostov to Marmara per ton of wheat.
According to the weather forecast, the situation in the Azov region may not change until the end of the year. Only the fleet opening in December is expected to be active. Considering the fact that many vessels will have time to make only one voyage, and Owners will try to fix their tonnage on the brink of holidays in such a way as to avoid idleness, the struggle for “final voyages” will be at its highest in the second half of the month. Even now, there is coming up an imbalance in the rates between long-distance voyages and short ones: while the former are declining due to high demand among Owners, the latter keep at the same level amid the small number of confirmed fixtures.
It is safe to say that unformed supply programs also help the market stay calm: fluctuations in the US dollar exchange rate in Russia, conflicts of interest on the domestic market between exporters and producers in Ukraine: for many Traders, these factors put sales on pause. After the high November, December looks weak and still uncertain, despite the fact that the coasters fleet in the Black Sea is in abundance in the middle of the month. If there will be no significant volume of new cargo, the freight market will go down under the pressure of a plentiful spot tonnage supply.