The Azov region met the 33rd week with bad weather and falling grain prices. However, both of these factors did not affect the freight market negatively.
At the beginning of the week, many vessels were delayed discharging in the Black Sea and in waiting for the Kerch Strait passage due to the unfavorable weather conditions, and some charterers tried to take advantage of this situation. According to Glogos Project, in negotiations they appealed to the fact that a wave of cancellations is expected, and as a result, tonnage will open in spot looking for cargo, and rates will fall. Amid this, some of them offered $14-15 per ton of wheat from Rostov to Samsun. However, the situation developed the other way round. The period of bad weather was not long enough for buyers to cancel contracts against the background of declining grain prices. The rate of $15 from Rostov to Samsun turned out low, the actual working level was $1-2 higher. In addition, due to the vessels delay, there was a lack of spot tonnage.
The arrival of the new crop continues to put pressure on the market. Shippers are interested in making shipments at the earliest possible time, which is why spot vessels are very popular. Amid the falling grain prices, buyers are trying to revise contracts in every possible way using any excuse. Companies that purchased in early August, but did not confirm the deals with owners and buyers have found themselves at a disadvantage. Having misjudged the market movement, they thought that the decline in grain prices would stop, so now they are eager to make shipments as quickly as possible in an attempt not to lose money.
For owners, the trend of working in spot will continue for a long time, Glogos Project expects. This will be of benefit for both owners, who see the market growing due to a large number of requests for different dates, and buyers, who amid the falling prices benefit from making shipments of contract parcels promptly.
That being the case, shippers and producers will take the fall. Of course, it would be possible to assume that they would try to collude and set any price they want, but this scenario is unlikely. Market insiders understand that talking about new quotas on grain exports is not coming out of the blue. Starting from January, if restrictions are imposed, exporters will buy grain at an even lower price, and the domestic market is too risky to rely on it for long-term plans. Thus, Russian processing companies are already trying to lobby for restrictions on the export of sunflower seeds and other oilseeds.
On the Russian inland waterways, freight rates are growing rapidly, which may be explained by the lack of vessels to fulfill contracts signed earlier. At the same time, the main part of the fleet is switching from the North-West to the South; rates on the Samara to St. Petersburg basis have increased from $19 to $27 per ton. In the meantime, producers continue keeping domestic grain prices at a high level, while in the global market the cost of wheat fell from $212 to $205 per ton amid the increasing forecasts of grain yield in Russia.
According to Glogos Project, on week 32, freight rates for 3,000-5,000 dwt vessels for wheat parcels to the Sea of Marmara made $18 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $17 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $15 from Temryuk.
Freight rates for coal to the Sea of Marmara made $17 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $16 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $14 from Temryuk.
In the Caspian, freight rates did no change either.
Freight rates for 3,000 dwt vessels for barley to Iran made $19 pmt from Astrakhan, $15 from Aktau and $16 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.