The week 44 was as eventful as the previous one. By the end of the week, rates on the Rostov to Marmara basis were at the level of $25-26 per ton of wheat on the part of charterers, while owners asked for $28-29 per ton, Glogos Project reports. A large drop in the Chicago stock exchange has pushed FOB prices in the region’s deep-water ports lower; volumes shipped, as well as rates, are rising. The weak ruble against the US dollar also motivates shippers to sell. The fact that a significant part of grain planned for export has already been shipped from Ukraine suggests that importers will focus on goods of Russian origin: in Russia, the volume of harvested grain is more than 133 mn tons, despite the poor harvest of corn and sunflower seeds. It is expected that the increase in rates on the Sea of Azov will continue until the last days of November, while Russian-flagged vessels will still be busy on voyages from the river.
With the end of navigation, the current stable flow of grain cargo at high rates is likely to weaken significantly. This conclusion can be made basing on the plans and mood of producers. Export-aimed regions are located nearer to ports. Those regions located in the Central and Northern regions are more seriously considering the domestic market as an alternative. The current situation on key points (the price from exporters and the logistics component) does not make a foreign trade deal very attractive; this will not change until either new export quotas are introduced, or the ruble exchange rate largely weakens.
In the Azov-Black Sea region, the market of backhaul cargo is on the rise. Despite the abundance of grain offers at relatively high rates, owners do not lose interest in voyages from Turkey to Rostov or Azov. The flow of such cargo to the Russian Federation remains stable, while the dynamics of shipments to Ukraine has increased significantly over the current year. Shipments are made in parcels of 2 to 10 thousand tons; unlike the Azov market, where the difference in rates between direct and backhaul voyages may be twofold, such voyages in the Black Sea are quoted at the same level.
In general, the coasters market in the Black Sea region is growing. Now owners are no longer forced to fix any cargo at low rates in order to avoid idleness of their fleet. For a voyage from Kherson to Marmara, the average rate is $19. It looks like the most active in the region are Turkish shippers, as well as cargo flow from Ukraine to the Western Mediterranean. Considering the fact that charterers are ready to pay more than $10 for backhaul cargo from Marmara to Odessa, and the ballast passage can be avoided, it is safe to say that the current level of the regional freight market is at its peak for the entire 2020 year.
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 $26 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $25 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $24 from Temryuk.
Freight rates for coal to the Sea of Marmara made $25 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $24 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $23 from Temryuk.
Freight rates in the Caspian market did not change.
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.