51 week: Russian River, Azov Sea, Caspian Sea; Coaster shipments
There is observed a severe shortage of river-sea type fleet on the Azov freight market. During a long period of adverse weather conditions, a large number of unshipped parcels have occurred. Technically, the market is growing, rates have added USD 2 per ton for voyages with laycan in December, but in fact, there are no offers from Owners. A significant part of the fleet was fixed back in early December, and the vessels still cannot go for loading. And those which have been open consider long-distance voyages on the brink of long holidays.
Uncertainty on the commodity market does not allow properly forming parcels and predicting the movement of rates. Shippers are ready to postpone the shipment dates to the first days of January for the contracted volumes. However, Traders are wary of the information that the customs authorities have started checking export shipments, which may take up to ten days. Market participants bother that such actions are related to the duties and the export quota which will be imposed in February. Amid restrictions coming into effect from February, declining purchase prices on the Russian domestic market are beginning to stimulate exports, but the conclusion of contracts for January and early February is currently in question.
The events of the 51th week allow making a short-term forecast. Rates for December will rise to the level of USD 24-25 per ton of wheat on the basis of the voyage from Rostov to Marmara. For the same parcels with shipment dates in the first days of January, the rate will be significantly less, about USD 20-22. Considering the upcoming holidays, many market participants have already completed their work this year. With certain exceptions, there is expected no business activity in December.