During the 22nd week, the coasters markets in the Azov and Caspian regions kept the trend towards stagnation. Apparently, owners will continue facing hard times during the month of June. Most of the tonnage is still open in spot, and there is a lack of cargo offer.
The news of that the demand for tonnage may grow only by the end of July-early August due to the precipitation deficit in the southern regions also does not add any optimism. In confirmation of that, futures for July contracts exceed August contracts, in average, by $5 at the moment, according to Glogos Project.
However, it is too early to assume that the entire coasters fleet came to a standstill. Shipments are being made, but there are very few of them. The rate on the basis of the voyage from Rostov to the Turkish Black Sea coast still fluctuates around $10 per ton of grain.
Charterers of non-grain cargo are taking advantage of the moment and trying to conclude profitable contracts for the next six months. Their activity has provoked on the market a surge in demand for time charter for the next six or seven months.
Commonly, during the high season (from July to December), the time charter rate for a Russian-flagged river-sea type vessel of 3,000 dwt fluctuates between $3,600 and $4,200 per day. This year, when transferring vessels for time charter in May-early June (during the low season), there has been a marked tendency to reduce the rate to $3,000-3,200 per day, depending on the vessel characteristics.
As indicated by statistics, grain exports to the EEU countries, especially to Belarus, have grown significantly on paper over the past few months. Market experts attribute this to manipulation of documents and an increase in export of products bypassing the quota under the guise of fictitious deliveries to the EEU countries. It should be noted that many exporters use such schemes trying to fulfill the previously signed export contracts in order to avoid penalties for non-performance.
According to Glogos Project, on week 21, freight rates for 3,000-5,000 dwt vessels for wheat parcels to the Sea of Marmara made $13 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $12 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $11 from Temryuk.
Freight rates for coal to the Sea of Marmara made $12 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $11 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $9 from Temryuk.
Market insiders think that the Caspian region may face a deeper crisis at the beginning of the new grain season than the Azov one. In the Iranian direction, corn and barley will be, the main commodity nomenclature, as before. According to the official statistics, currently there are large carry-over stocks of these crops. This will not allow producers to get affordable price from buyers at the beginning of the season, and many of them will hold their products. This may significantly slow down the market recovery in the region.
Freight rates for 3,000 dwt vessels for barley to Iran made $20 pmt from Astrakhan, $14 from Aktau and $16 from Makhachkala.
Please note that the rates cited in this article are average market rates. We ask our readers to pay attention that this information is not a commercial offer and cannot be an example for comparison in commercial disputes and arbitration.