Freight rates at 8th week remain on the same level compared to the previous week – and amounted to 36 $ per tonne basis voyage ex Rostov to Marmara with wheat. Nevertheless at the end of February, where were some rumors among market players about possible rate growth prolongation in the Azov basin from 8th – 10th week. Such dynamic appears due to the maintenance of constant freight flow in the region and settled increasing freight level trend, which was defining from mid-January to mid-February. The rates on the Rostov-Marmara route were collected 1 $ every week and gradually had increased from 32 $ to 36 $ per tonne with wheat.
Shipowners don’t make hustle to conclude new contracts due to weather conditions deterioration. Night air temperature plunged to 13 degrees in the Azov area, this had contributed to the formation of thick ice fields, so the ice class requirements for vessels remain unaltered. Even less free tonnage stays in Azov Sea: some part of the fleet sailed for cargo to Temryuk, where it is possible to operate ships without ice class, the other part aimed to the Black Sea coast of Ukraine. Against the backdrop of a continuing lull in the Black Sea grain market, coaster Owners could hardly employ their fleet. Few shipments are carried out mostly by the grave traders and in lots of 10,000 tonnes. In such market realities, the additional river-sea fleet (3,000 – 5,000 tonnes) will not be fixed at satisfactory rates.
The deficit of spot tonnage in the Azov region is still actual. The unstable situation with the water level due to the drifting winds is a common occurrence in Azov coast during this period, led to ships anticipation of sufficient water level up to week for passage through Azov-Don Сhannel. In addition, a significant part of ship’s tonnage is on the scheduled repairs or in doсks in Tuzla nowadays. The beginning of Spring, when the cargo flow is reduced, is considered a favorable period for carrying out annual reductions. This is necessary in order to maintain the vessel in operational readiness, and to obtain permission for further voyages.
Start of the river navigation is nearly. Substantial amounts of remains crop and a favorable forecast for the harvest in the current year have shifted the priorities of the Charterers from maximizing the profit for each single transaction to procuring the export of the necessary quantities of goods. To feel confident in the upcoming season, Traders are already trying to fix consecutive voyages from the lower Volga for the entire period of navigation or take ships in time charters.
The sever sustainable ice conditions In Astrakhan retains a firm freight on the basis of Astrakhan-Iran – 47 $ per tonne with wheat. Charterers need of tonnage for the export of cargo for maintaining of constant rhythm of carriage and accept a sufficiently high-priced supply of Shipowners. The adjustment of the level freight rates sideward to decreasing is not expected in the near future particularly until the beginning of river navigation (late March – early April).