News of the freight market as of 20.05.2024

Black Sea light-tonnage transportation market: current trends and expectations

The Black Sea light tonnage market continues to be under pressure due to the excessive number of available vessels. Cargo turnover remains extremely slow before the start of the new grain season, which is likely to keep freight rates low for a few more weeks.
Freight rates decreased by $0.5-1 per ton, reflecting the general drop in freight demand. High competition among Ship Owners for limited cargoes continues to put pressure on the market. Ukrainian grain remains a popular cargo, but freight rates from Ukrainian ports are lower compared to EU, Russian and Turkish ports.
Freight rates from Ukrainian ports are likely to remain low level, and on other routes, they may decrease by another $0.5–1 per ton. This is due to the end of the grain season and minimal demand for fertilizers and coal in Mediterranean countries.

Mediterranean Sea light-tonnage transportation market: current trends and expectations

The situation in the Mediterranean Sea remains difficult for shipowners, as cargo supply has decreased. This is especially noticeable in terms of the reduction in fertilizer shipments. High competition for cargoes forces shipowners to make concessions and increase the idle time of vessels.
Freight rates for transportation of 5,000 tons of wheat from Alexandroupolis to Bari amounted to $21 per ton, which is equivalent to $2.8-3 thousand per day. The transportation of 5,500 tons of steel from Sagunto to Gemlik is negotiated at €23 per ton, indicating stable but low demand for steel products. Demand for fertilizer and coal remains minimal, which continues to put pressure on freight rates. A slight increase in demand for square billets in Turkey is unlikely to have a significant impact on the market.

Azov Sea market: current trends and expectations

This week Azov Sea market showed freight rate growth by $1-2 per ton, which can be related to increased activity after holidays in Russia. Shipowners became more optimistic, trying to achieve higher rates despite the many available vessels.
Most grain traders are looking to pay less than $30/ton for a 3,000 tons of wheat shipment from Azov/Rostov to Marmara Sea, while ship owners want $34-35/ton. This creates a gap in expectations and makes it difficult to close deals.
The market may remain relatively stable in the coming weeks, with a possible further increase in rates due to increased demand for cargo transportation from the Azov Sea. However, high competition and available vessels may limit this growth.

Freight rates for transportation

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