Market Strength Wanes As Ukrainian Grain Flows Halve in May

Credits: REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

Black Sea grain market weakened in May in both freight prices and volumes amid uncertainty regarding the prospects of the UN-brokered safe passage agreement, with participants remaining hesitant to plan ahead even after the announcement of the agreement’s extension, reports Platts.

Basically, we’ve been on hold since March,” a charterer said. “The corridor cannot function effectively with only a two-month perspective. We fixed two vessels during the last corridor, but neither of them was able to pass.”

Black Sea grain market weakens

The same charterer said they doubted much would be accomplished, as Ukraine does not have much stock left to export and crop conditions have not been favorable. With the corridor deal due to end on July 18 the charterer expected they would not able to trade the new crops.

In the Black Sea region, daily hire offers from owners for shipments via Ukrainian ports were reported around $15k/d for Handysize ships, while offers for non-Ukrainian ports were seen around the $8,000s/day.

Currently, there is no demand for Handysize vessels in Ukraine, but we observe some business activity for Panamax and potentially Supramax vessels,” a Geneva-based shipbroker said. “It’s pretty slow for smaller vessel sizes.”

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Source: Platts


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