February 2021 began with a sharp drop of 0.6% in the Baltic Dry Index. Many attribute this to the fact that Russian wheat exports will soon be significantly reduced due to the quota introduction. According to Sea Lines shipbrokers, the demand for Handy, Supra, Panamax vessels is expected to fall significantly in the Black Sea. The decline in the Baltic Dry Index was also affected by the lack of spot cargoes during the 5th-6th week in the Baltic and Continent, as the charterers, hoping for better rates and more vessels, planned their shipments for late February or early March.
For the Handy, Supra and Panamax vessels, it is once again advantageous to take cargo to India and move to the Pacific, as China plans to increase imports of basic goods such as coal, ore, metals, and oil. Already in January, import figures exceeded December figures by several million tons. The desire of large ship owners to move to the Pacific is supported by the significant increase in Australian grain exports.
On week 5, freight rates for 30,000-35,000 dwt bulkers from Ust-Luga moved upwards for most destinations.
Thus, rates on the Ust-Luga – Continent – Ust-Luga were $21 pmt, rates from Ust-Luga to North Spain were $24.25 pmt, and those to Casablanca were $26 pmt.
Rates from Ust-Luga were $31 pmt to West Med rates, and $32 pmt to East Med.
Rates for 30,000-35,000 dwt bulkers from Ust-Luga to the Black Sea amounted to $34.5 pmt.
In Baltic region short sea market, there was a slight decrease in freight rates. The number of shipments also decreased. According to Sea Lines, this is due to the fact that most grain shipments from Russian ports had already been fixed before the quota came into force.
Inland and southern Baltic ports are expected to have a significant number of opening positions as the January contracts have come to an end. The charterers plan most of their shipments for the second half of February, so the situation in the Baltic Sea market is quite calm now.
On week 5, freight rates for smaller bulkers from Ust-Luga moved downwards.
Thus, rates from Ust-Luga to Riga made €18 pmt. And those to Gdansk were €19.25 pmt.
Freight rates from Ust-Luga made €23.5 pmt to Szczecin, €26 to Flensburg, and 28.5 to Hamburg.
Rates from Ust-Luga were €30.5 pmt to ARAG, €40 pmt to East Britain, €41 pmt to West Britain, and €41.5 pmt to Dublin.
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.