Week 43 created a sense of high season in the Azov market, for the first time in 2020. Freight rates spiked by record $4-5 in all directions; a voyage from Rostov to Marmara could be performed for $24 per ton of wheat. At the same time, believing that their time had come, owners started negotiations with significantly higher ideas. Spot tonnage supply is lacking; there are also not much vessels opening in the first or second week of November in comparison with the abundance of cargo offer, Glogos Project reports.
There are several reasons for such a revival. One of the key factors was setting to zero the customs import duty in Turkey on wheat (previously it was 45%), corn (previously it was 25%) and barley (previously it was 35%) until January 1, 2021. The GASC and TMO tenders held also motivated traders to take actions. Russian grain won a large percentage, and since the parcels for suppliers and ports of discharge are relatively small, it is clear that coasters will be involved transporting these cargos.
According to Glogos Project, on week 42, freight rates for 3,000-5,000 dwt vessels for wheat parcels to the Sea of Marmara made $24 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $23 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $22 from Temryuk.
Freight rates for coal to the Sea of Marmara made $23 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $22 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $21 from Temryuk.
The Caspian freight market also shows growth dynamics, but in contrast to Azov, it is quite moderate. The major indicator is still a fairly high level of demand for tonnage for voyages from the Volga River ports, while grain from the Southern regions is more often shipped via Novorossiysk. Amid a favorable situation in the commodity market and the upcoming end of navigation, shippers demonstrate a flexible approach to prices. Freight rates from river ports to Iran increased by an average of $4, and from sea ports by $2-3 per ton.
The current year’s final voyage with general cargo in transit from the Black Sea to the Caspian is likely to be fixed until the end of October. Considering the schedule of the locks closure, it would be safe to say that the vessel performing the voyage in transit will remain in the Caspian for the winter. This season, there are fewer owners planning this than in 2019 and 2018, despite the fact that the “remaining” ones are the largest in the region. They are also the main traders; therefore it is likely that in winter Caspian charterers will face a deficit of tonnage as most of the fleet will be deployed carrying “own” cargo.
Freight rates for 3,000 dwt vessels for barley to Iran made $25 pmt from Astrakhan, $21 from Aktau and $22 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.