The situation in Black Sea/Azov Sea hasn’t changed in favour of the owners during the last days. Spot freight rates are declining further regardless if the vessels are coming from deepwater ports or from shallow draft ports. A general lack of cargoes is felt in comparison to the available spot tonnage around. Rates for grain cargoes have dropped by some US$ 1.5-2/mt during the last week, other commodities have lost about US$ 1/mt in the same time. Earnings are approaching OPEX levels. Bad weather in the region is hardly any good news in this situation and is expected to endure for quite some days more with possible traffic problems in Kerch Strait and difficult operations in ports. Furthermore according top port agents, since 1 February, owners calling or leaving the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk will have to pay an ice due of US$ 0.7 per cubic meter vessel volume. Coal shipments of 5,000mt loading Rostov and heading to Marmara are concluded at some US$ 18/mt while same amount of grain and same route is getting US$ 18.50/mt at the moment. Steel parcels of 5,000mt leaving Constantza and destination Poti are talked at around US$ 15/mt.
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