During week 50, the lack of open vessels occurred in the Azov region due to the increased fleet turnaround period. Vessels were standing near the Dolzhanskaya Spit waiting to transit the Kerch Strait for quite a long time. At the moment, ice convoys for transiting the Kerch Strait are forming only upon receipt of confirmation from the port of loading, Glogos Project reports. According to forecasts, the situation is expected to improve at the end of the 51st week when the weather conditions become more favorable.
During the past two weeks, charterers making shipments from Yeisk, Temryuk or Taganrog tried to reduce freight rates by $1-2, taking advantage of the fact that many vessels are not currently considering voyages from Rostov. However, the market did not go down due to the lack of spot tonnage, except for a few cases. Amid the shippers’ need to make shipments before the end of December, the rates for fixtures with laycan for the rest of the month are expected to be inflated.
Christmas and New Year holidays limit the work period for some companies. A chain of banking holidays in the USA, and then in the Russian Federation create unfavourable conditions as due to the banking holidays, a transaction party is at a risk of not receiving their money, or causing a long vessel idleness. This is especially true for companies selling from Russia on CIF basis as vessels with the nearest opening dates will be a priority for them.
Uncertainty about the possible introduction of restrictive measures for exports from Russia does not allow the commodity market to settle. Amid various news that an export duty on wheat will be introduced separately or together with a limit for export purchase prices have slightly decreased. Export-oriented companies that have already purchased goods can afford reducing prices. Producers, on their part, are not in a hurry to cut their offers.
The market is still facing low December after the high November. There is an extremely small number of new sales in the Black Sea market, as well as a significant difference in price expectations between buyers and sellers amounting to about $8-10, according to Glogos Project. Cargo is available at ports, but customer demand is lower than usual, since notable volumes are being traded via state tenders.
Aside from that, parties have different views on the development of the situation with prices, and they are waiting for concrete news on the introduction of export quotas and duties in Russia. Once this is done, either a large number of shipments of Russian grain will be loaded on coasters, and sellers would need to “reduce their appetite”, or, on the contrary, only major Russian companies will continue to make shipments, and much of the “market work” will shift to Ukrainian ports.
According to Glogos Project, on week 48, freight rates for 3,000-5,000 dwt vessels for wheat parcels to the Sea of Marmara made $23 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $22 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $20 from Temryuk.
Freight rates for coal to the Sea of Marmara made $22 pmt from Rostov and Azov, $21 pmt from Yeisk and Taganrog, and $19 from Temryuk.
Freight rates in the Caspian market did not change.
Freight rates for 3,000 dwt vessels for barley to Iran made $24 pmt from Astrakhan, $20 from Aktau and $21 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.