51-52 week: Russian River, Azov Sea, Caspian Sea; Coaster shipments
Azov’s area market has slowly turned the tide towards Charterers’ favor. Almost every Ship Owner is now actively looking for cargo orders with laycan on the holidays dates, however scarce they may be, as in general Charterers postpone their shipments till 9 of January onwards in order to ascertain serene day offs. So the rates came to be clearly divided on ‘before’ and ‘after’. Demand for spot tonnage is dramatically high with rates retaining the previous week numbers. First half of January, on the other hand, is a laycan which many Owners would prefer to discuss now, even despite low freight.
At the end of December unfavorable weather conditions have plagued the Azov’s Sea once again. Due to dramatic water level fluctuations at local ports Owners of vessels which were berthed or steamed to loading port, have suffered time lost and delays. Thus, tonnage, planned for last short haul followed by long voyage (East Med or Adriatic) during holidays, is now endangered to miss laycan and idle for whole holydays or to open in spot right before the day offs.
During the previous week Authorities of Azov’s basin have introduced ice restrictions, which caused severe misunderstanding among Ship Owners. Though requirements for vessels are clearly stated: age less than 30 years and ice class confirmed by RMRS, the document does not provide effective dates of coming in force. So, to be on the safe side, part of local Ship Owners has declined to call Azov’s ports, leading to notable decrease of spot tonnage.
Caspian market continues to decrease slowly. Better part of Charterers has already finished their spot shipments and now is waiting for freight drop in order to resume. The main reason which prevents market downfall currently is high demand for tonnage ex Makhachkala and Aktau.