On the week 30, the Azov region freight market finally revived. Despite all the prerequisites to keeping high grain prices, there was a slight decline in quotations on commodity exchanges due to the strong euro, China’s purchase of large volumes of grain from the USA, and the forecasted establishment of food stocks amid the ongoing pandemic. This had driven sales from the dead-lock.
Buyers were forced to close the needs for production in grain anyway, so they went for deals. As a result, rates fell by $1 to the market’s working level, and a voyage from Rostov to Samsun was traded at $14-15 per ton of wheat, Glogos Project reports. However, due to the high prices and uncertain commodity market forecasts sales are still made in spot and prompt, with shipments for a maximum of a week or two ahead. Most players have not formed a long-term grain program yet.
In general, active growth in sales volumes in the commodity market starting from the second half of August, and hence an increase in rates and in the number of shipments. However, there is not much hope for market revival due to a number of inhibiting factors. One of them is the competition on the part of Ukraine, where the market for cereals and their exports is quite heavily monopolized. Secondly, the structure of the Russian domestic market has changed. Domestic producers are starting to take a more careful and sophisticated approach to selling grain; they do not rush and hold it in case of fluctuations in quotations or exchange rates. During the past year or two, they got an alternative to exports selling grain in the home market. Thirdly, for some time now, VTB Group has gained quite a significant power in the market, the company is strongly lobbying its interests and forming favorable conditions for grain purchase and transportation. As a result, rates to Marmara are expected to rise up to $20+ in August.
After August 4, when the celebration of Eid al-Adha in Turkey ends, a mass purchase of the new crop grain for deliveries to Turkey is expected. About the same time, the new crop of wheat should arrive to elevators and warehouses. During the reporting week, the number of requests for shipments from the deep water: from the Novorossiysk port and the Kavkaz roads to Iran, Iraq and India in parcels of 20,000 to 40,000 tons increased.
According to Glogos Project, on week 30, freight rates for 3,000-5,000 dwt vessels for wheat parcels to the Sea of Marmara made $17 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $16 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $14 from Temryuk.
Freight rates for coal to the Sea of Marmara made $16 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $15 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $13 from Temryuk.
A large number of requests for transportation of grain from the river, mainly from the Middle Volga region, have appeared in the market, and this is the new crop already. It is worth mentioning that shippers in the Caspian region are currently more interested in shipping by inland waterways to Astrakhan in order to get a lower freight rate, and not to fall for «hot» offers from owners promising freight to the Iran ports.
A small amount of grain will still be transported from the river to Iran, but charterers will try to avoid the hype. In the market, there is cargo to the Black Sea destinations already, but owners prefer to work from ports of the Lower and Middle Volga area in order to reduce transit time amid the expectations of market growth.
Freight rates for 3,000 dwt vessels for barley to Iran made $17 pmt from Astrakhan, $13 from Aktau and $14 pmt 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.