On week 11, there is an active growth of indices for vessels from Handy to Panamax even breaking the 2007 records. Many operators complain about big risks when taking ships into operation, and about high time charter equivalent rates. The market is warmed up not only by active shipments from the Baltic and the Black Sea, but also by the growing grain exports from the United States to Asia, as well as by coal imports to China.
Demand for American white wheat shipments to countries such as the Philippines, South Korea and China continues to rise, setting a new record since 1994. China also continues to look for alternative sources to buy feed wheat.
In the Baltic and the Continent, charterers still tend to postpone shipments, but the demand for ships is not falling. Because of the Russian grain dues, a large number of wheat cargoes from Poland, Denmark and France has appeared in the market, which also affects the demand for tonnage.
Russian coal miners are boosting exports to China, the world’s largest energy consumer, after Beijing raised tariffs on imports from Australia amid growing trade divisions. But as China’s appetite for energy imports is growing steadily, Russia is trying to fill the void by increasing its coal exports.
On week 11, freight rates for 30,000-35,000 dwt bulkers from Ust-Luga moved sideways.
Thus, rates on the Ust-Luga – Continent – Ust-Luga were $23 pmt, rates from Ust-Luga to North Spain were $24.75 pmt, and those to Casablanca were $28.5 pmt.
Rates from Ust-Luga were $32.5 pmt to West Med rates, and $38.5 pmt to East Med.
Rates for 30,000-35,000 dwt bulkers from Ust-Luga to the Black Sea amounted to $42 pmt.
Active shipments continue in the Baltic short-sea market. Despite the arrival of spring and the improving ice conditions in ports, freight rates do not fall, maintaining the level of the previous weeks. Also, there is a trend towards a slight decrease in fuel prices, but this factor has not yet influenced the rates either.
Regarding cargoes, there is a decrease in grain flow, while fertilizers shipments continue to be active. Many vessels are under contacts until late April – early May, so more tonnage is expected to appear in the market at that time. Shipowners meanwhile hope that the market will change and prefer to consider shipments in spot and promt positions rather than close vessels for later dates.
The most popular destinations are the Great Britain and the Continent. Taking into account the recent incident in the Kiel Canal, queues are expected for the passage from the Baltic to the North Sea and vice versa.
On week 11, freight rates for smaller bulkers from Ust-Luga moved down for some directions.
Thus, rates from Ust-Luga to Riga made €18.75 pmt and those to Gdansk were €21 pmt.
Freight rates from Ust-Luga made €24 pmt to Szczecin, €27.5 to Flensburg, and €29 to Hamburg.
Rates from Ust-Luga were €31.5 pmt to ARAG, €40 pmt to East Britain, €41 pmt to West Britain, and €42 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.