At 13th week, active trade continues in the Azov-Black Sea region and an increase in the number of grain shipments has led to an increase in freight rates. On the direction Azov-Marmara, shipment of 3,000 mts of wheat will cost USD 20 PMT. However, in view of such a sharp increase in rates and cargo offers, shipowners prefer to wait ant not to fix yet in order to analyse the freight market tendency. In this regard, charterers were faced with the problem of finding tonnage for April dates, expecting its subsequent growth and more favorable freight rates.

One of the most important news of this week is the opening of navigation in the Azov-Don and Volga-Don basins of the inland waterways of Russia. Many shipowners in the Azov-Black Sea region decided to transfer their fleet to the Caspian Sea region because of more favorable terms.

Increasing of freight rates is also observed in the Caspian Sea region. The freight rate from Makhachkala port to NIP has already reached usd 29 pmt and freight rates will be only increasing by April. Despite the opening of navigation, shipowners still prefer not to take cargo from distant river ports since the water level in the river is quite low.

The New Year in Iran and bad weather conditions have led to large congestion of vessels in the ports of Amirabad and Anzali, because of this, waiting time for berthing is around several days.

The deep sea market, in its turn, was more susceptible to the effects of the spread of coronavirus. Several ports in South Africa were closed this week, and charterers are worried that the ports of Egypt and Algeria can also be closed on quarantine. In this regard, they try not to work while in these areas and prefer to wait for situation improvement. Cargo from the Persian Gulf remain demanded among shipowners who are looking for shipments from this region to Turkey. Rates in this area remain at the level of the previous week.