Freight & Bunkers News

May 20 - China April soy imports from Brazil up 11.7% vs year earlier
China's soybean imports from Brazil rose 11.7% in April from a year earlier, data showed on Monday, as fresh and cheap Brazilian beans continue to arrive at Chinese ports from flood-hit Brazil. China imported 5.92 million metric tons of the oilseed from Brazil last month, showed data from the General Administration of Customs.

May 20 - China's April aluminium imports jump 72.1% year-on-year
China's April imports of unwrought aluminium and products jumped 72.1% on-year to 380,000 metric tons, customs data showed on Saturday. The data include primary metal and unwrought, alloyed aluminium.


May 17 - Ukraine grain exports via Romania's Constanta port down 30% in Jan-April
Ukraine's grain exports through Romania’s Black Sea port of Constanta fell by a third on the year to 3.05 million metric tons in the first four months of 2024, its port authority told Reuters on Thursday, as more Ukrainian exports went from Odesa. Overall, grain exports via Constanta were up by almost 15%.

May 17 - Turkey tenders to sell and export 75,000 T durum wheat,
traders say
Turkey's state grain board TMO has issued an international tender to sell and export 75,000 metric tons of durum wheat, European traders said on Thursday. The deadline for submissions of price offers in the tender is May 22.


May 16 - Jordan tenders to buy up to 120,000 T wheat, traders say
Jordan's state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Wednesday. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is May 21.

May 16 - Japan to import 23,428 tons feed wheat and barley via tender
Japan will import 23,048 metric tonnes of feed-quality wheat, and 380 tonnes of barley for livestock use, via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that closed late on Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said. The ministry had sought 65,000 metric tons of feed wheat and 25,000 tons of feed barley to be loaded by August 31 and arrive in Japan by October 31 in the tender that is usually conducted weekly.


May 15 - NITRO Shipping Freight Report for Grains

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: The Azov sea market got weaker further over the week. A lot of open 5'k and RSD type vessels in spot / prompt basis Kerch. Owners are ready to discuss freight levels. Market players report fixtures below usd 30 pmt fiost ex Rostov to Marmara for 5'k wbp (sf abt 54'). Bit higher demand observed for 3'k vessels where freight levels discussed in low- mid 30's usd pmt fiost in prompt. Market is in a state of high uncertainty and volatility.

FAR EAST: As anticipated, after a prolonged period of calm, the market started to decline.

CASPIAN SEA
: Despite the issuance of quotas, the market in the region remains weak, with a surplus of available fleet. In Iran, the situation with grain storage at unloading ports is slowly improving, leading to reduced waiting times at roadsteads, which is expected to have a positive impact on the freight market in the coming future.

BALTIC SEA: The Baltic sea market is low.


May 15 - Ocean rates - Weekly Freightos Baltic Index
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) increased 14% to $3,873/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) climbed 8% to $5,093/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) increased 17% to $4,151/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) increased 17% to $5,179/FEU.

- Ex-Asia ocean rates climbed sharply last week as early month GRIs took hold – with additional significant increases possible in the coming days from mid-month GRIs and surcharges – as unseasonal increases in demand combine with already-stretched capacity due to Red Sea diversions that require the use of more ships and are still causing congestion in places like the West Mediterranean and S. Asia.
- Recent increases in Asia - Europe volumes during what is normally a slow season for ocean freight, surprised many carriers and may point to the beginning of a restocking cycle for European importers. The demand increase is resulting in reports of rolled containers and full ships through the end of the month.
With capacity already tight due to Red Sea diversions, rates last week climbed to $4,151/FEU to N. Europe and $5,179/FEU  to the Mediterranean for about a 20% increase from their already-elevated floors reached in March and April. With carriers announcing additional $1,000+/FEU GRIs or peak season surcharges for the coming days, prices may be set to climb even higher.
- On the transpacific, the National Retail Federation projects that US monthly ocean imports will climb above the two million TEU mark in May and peak at 2.1 million in August suggesting we’re already in the start of an early peak season. This early increase may reflect pulled-forward demand to avoid Red Sea-caused delays later in the year or due to concerns that East Coast and Gulf port labor negotiations, which will get underway soon, could result in disruptions during the typical peak season months.
- Like in N. Europe, this demand increase while capacity is already scarce is pushing transpacific rates up sharply with West Coast prices up 33% from the April floor to $3,873/FEU last week and East Coast rates up 19% compared to April to $5,093/FEU. As space tightens, forwarders are seeing their allocations reduced sharply and carriers are seeking to increase rates further on mid-month GRIs this week.
- Climbing ocean rates and rolled containers could contribute to a further Red Sea-driven ocean to air shift of some volumes. The impact of this shift on air cargo rates, though, could be mitigated somewhat by summer travel’s additional passenger flights adding cargo capacity to the market.

May 15 - Air rates - Weekly Freightos Air index
- China - N. America weekly prices increased 8% to $5.86/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 12% to $3.60/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices fell 2% to $1.73/kg.

- The biggest driver of elevated air cargo rates out of China – Freightos Air Index rates out of China were at $5.86/kg to N. America and $3.60/kg to N. Europe last week – has been the surge in B2C e-commerce shipment volumes. But Temu, one of the major platforms responsible for this trend, will reportedly start pulling back from the US market following various legislative challenges, which could free up significant capacity on this lane.
- In labor news, Canada’s Minister of Labour temporarily blocked a rail strike planned for next week. In the meantime, ocean carriers are announcing contingency plans, including diversions to other West Coast ports in the event of a strike.


May 15 - Ukrainian Freight Weekly Report ( SPIKE_BrOKERS )

Sold freight
- railway logistics (grain):
· Kharkiv region. - Chop (June) @1,400 UAH with VAT
 
- As of 13.05, the export of agricultural products by road across the western and southern borders amounted to 180 thousand tons, compared to the same period in April - 161 thousand tons and March - 155 thousand tons. The largest export volume was observed at the Romanian border - 44 thousand tons. On the Polish border, export shipments continue to grow to 44 thousand tons, which is twice as much as in the same period in April. The blockade of the Polish border affected the reduction of traffic on the Hungarian and Moldovan borders, where the decline in exports occurred by 10%, to 30 and 38 thousand tons, respectively. The average daily pass rate across all borders has increased to 13,814 tons. Sugar - 35,521 tons and sunflower oil - 27,557 tons for May - remain the leaders of the automotive export industry. Tariffs in the direction of Germany and Romania increased slightly, within 5-7€. Rates for domestic transportation have not been changed.

- There is a tendency to decrease export shipments of grain cargoes and products by rail across land borders. The average daily rate for the transmission of cars over the past week decreased to 246 cars per day in May. The rapid decline in May export shipments compared to the same period in April is observed on the Romanian border - up to 22.83 cars per day. In turn, on the Slovak border, there is an increase of up to 37.75 cars per day compared to the same period in April. As of 12.05, the average daily rate of unloading of wagons in the ports of Bolshaya Odessa increased to 1,387 cars per day. Over the past week, the number of wagons going to the ports of Greater Odessa has increased to 7,749 cars. In the direction of the port of Izmail, the accumulation of wagons increased to 914 wagons. The average daily discharge rate at the port of Izmail also increased, compared to last week, to 141 cars. Freight rates across Europe and the territory of Ukraine remain unchanged.

- Limited trading activity caused by the festive period contributed to the reduction of tariffs for sending by water transport, namely freight rates for coasters and handicrafts. As for panamax, this segment looks stable. The cost of transportation by hendisayses from deep-sea ports of Odessa to the eastern Mediterranean and Tunisia fell by 1-2$, to Spain and the eastern coast of Italy - by 2$. Tariffs for transportation from the ports of the Danube to Marmara and eastern Greece also decreased by 1$. The cost of transportation to Israel decreased by 3$. In turn, the freight on the barge to Constanta remained stable, and fell to Ruse or Silistra by 0.5€. Stable tariffs remain for panamax transportation from deep sea ports to southern China and Vietnam.


May 15 - US switches method to estimate China's soy imports after data gap
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has started using global exporters' data to estimate China's soybean imports because a wide gap emerged between shipping figures from producing nations and Chinese customs data, a USDA official told Reuters. The change in methodology comes at a sensitive time for U.S.-China relations and as China is trying to improve its food security plans to rely less on imports.

May 14 - Brazil's coffee exports jump 61% in April
Brazil's total exports of green coffee leaped nearly 61% year-over-year in April, rising to 3.90 million 60-kg bags, industry group Cecafe said on Monday. Shipments of arabica coffee, which account for most of the country's exports, grew 40.1% from the year-ago month to 3.22 million bags.


May 10 - Panama Canal in talks with US LNG producers to increase transit
The Panama Canal is in talks with U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers on how to meet increased demand for crossings as water levels recover after a prolonged drought, the canal's administrator Ricaurte Vasquez told Reuters in an interview. The canal is typically used by U.S. Gulf Coast exporters to send LNG cargoes to Asia via the Pacific Ocean, but from last year low water levels forced cuts to daily crossings, driving many producers to seek more costly or longer alternative routes.


May 10 - Argentina grains ports, soy crushing plants idle due to general strike
Argentine grains ports and soybean crushing plants in the area surrounding the major Rosario hub are standing idle due to a nationwide strikelaunched on Thursday, the head of the major grains exporting nation's oilseed export chamber said. "None of the ports and factories are operating," according to chamber president Gustavo Idigoras. "There aren't any problems or disturbances but everything is closed."


May 09 - China's April iron ore imports stay high as lower prices draw buyers
China's April iron ore imports ticked up 1.1% from the previous month, customs data showed on Thursday, as lower prices in March encouraged some buyers to place orders for more volumes betting demand and prices will pick up later. The world's largest iron ore consumer imported 101.82 million metric tons of the key steelmaking ingredient last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.


May 08 - NITRO Shipping Weekly Freight Report for Grains

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: The Azov Sea market has experienced a significant decrease in activity over the past two "holiday" weeks in Russia. Many market players were anticipating a redistribution of export quotas, but it ultimately favored one of the deep-sea exporters, leaving many Azov Sea coaster exporters with no allocation. As a result, Owners are ready to discuss levels below 30 usd pmt fiost bss 5'k wbp (sf abt 54') ex Yeisk or Taganrog to Marmara.

FAR EAST: The market is stable with minimal fluctuations and a limited number of shipments. The opening of the grain pier in Sovetskaya Gavan creates new possibilities for exporters.

CASPIAN SEA: The extended weekend in Russia further exacerbates the already challenging market situation. The Caspian market remains under significant strain, with no changes observed over the past 2 weeks. Exporters, like in other markets, are eagerly awaiting the distribution of quotas.

BALTIC SEA
: The market in the Baltic Sea is continuing to be reduced. 5'k coal has been fixed at 18 eur pmt fiost from ex St.Petersburg to Poland in prompt.


May 08 - Ocean rates weekly report - Freightos Baltic Index
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) increased 10% to $3,404/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) climbed 10% to $4,703/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) increased 6% to $3,550/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) increased 4% to $4,445/FEU.

Ex-Asia ocean rates that started climbing last week on May 1st GRIs have now added about $1,000/FEU across these lanes compared to the end of April, with the latest daily rates reaching about the $4,000/FEU mark to the US West Coast and N. Europe, $5,000/FEU to the Mediterranean and about $5,400/FEU to the East Coast.

 

Should these rate increases stick, the common driver supporting them would be the combination of increasing demand with the market’s overall capacity being fully employed due to Red Sea diversions – with Houthi attacks continuing this week – even as the global fleet continues to grow on new vessel deliveries.

Diversions and disruptions leading to tight capacity on the overall network level help explain the elevated rates observed even on non-Suez Canal lanes. And Red Sea adjustments continue to disrupt some schedules and cause backlogs in places like India and Dubai with the recent bad weather causing delays in Asian origin hubs also not helping strains on capacity.

 

If price increases are maintained, they would reflect already tight capacity coinciding with a somewhat unexpected and unseasonal climb in demand.  In N. Europe, recent reports of tight capacity and rolled containers are being attributed by some to improved volumes and the possible start of restocking by European importers.

For transpacific trade signs of an increase in imports include reports of some rail congestion for arriving imports at the ports of LA and Long Beach.  With April and May typically slow months for ocean freight, an increase in volumes now may reflect some shippers pulling peak season shipments forward out of concern that Red Sea diversions or potential labor disruptions at East Coast and Gulf ports might cause delays during the normal busy season.

May 08 - Air rates weekly report - Freightos Air index
- China - N. America weekly prices fell 4% to $5.43/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 7% to $4.08/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices fell 2% to $1.77/kg.

In air cargo, there is some optimism that Q1’s unexpected volume strength will continue into Q2.  Freightos Air Index rates out of China dipped slightly last week to $5.43/kg to N. America and $4.08/kg to N. Europe, but remain well above typical slow season levels due to continued strong e-commerce volumes. Prices out of the Middle East and S. Asia have leveled off but likewise remain elevated as some Red Sea-driven shift to air is keeping demand strong.


May 08 - Ukrainian Weekly Freight report (SPIKE_BROKERS)

Sold freight
- railway logistics (eurohopper):
· Chop - Mon. Italy (June) @44€
· Chop - Mon. Italy (October-March) @52€
 
- During the first 6 days of May, export shipments of agricultural products by road amounted to 81 thousand tons, which is 9% more than in the same period in April (74 thousand tons). During this period, the volume of traffic on the Polish border increased to 19,134 tons, which is almost three times more than in the same period in April - 7,400 tons. At the rest of the checkpoints, the volume of traffic has decreased rapidly. The average daily pass rate at all borders in the first 6 days of May increased to 13,538 tons, compared to the same rate in April, which amounted to 12,420 tons for the corresponding period. Sugar - 14679 tons and sunflower oil - 12322 tons occupy the largest export by road.
Freight rates in the direction of Europe remained unchanged in anticipation of a new harvest.

- Export shipments by rail on land borders continue to decline. In May, the average daily rate for wagons passing across the Western borders was 255 wagons per day, the lowest rate for the last season. A significant decrease in the transmission of cars occurred on the Romanian border by 46.15%, to 25.4 cars per day.
For 5 days of May, the average daily rate of unloading wagons in the ports of Greater Odessa decreased to 1,260 cars per day. Record declines are observed in the number of grain carriages moving towards deep-sea ports. This figure decreased by 1,195 cars compared to last week and is 6,735 cars. The average daily load of wagons in the direction of the ports of Greater Odessa has also decreased and is 1303 cars per day. In the direction of the port of Izmail, the accumulation of cars by 285 units decreased, to 774 cars. The average daily rate of unloading wagons with grain in the port of Izmail is 112 cars per day.
Rates of freight in Europe remain unchanged. Rail freight in Ukraine decreased by 2-4$ per ton due to the rapid decline in export shipments.

- Reducing the rate of exports from Ukraine due to the low level of residues led to a decrease in rates for transportation by water transport. Freight rates on coasters decreased by 1-3$ per ton in all directions. The scarcity of goods affected the reduction in the cost of freight on the barge. So, to Constanța (Romania) you can take the cargo by river for 10€ per ton, to Ruse / Silistra (Bulgaria) freight fell to 16€ per ton. ʼ Freight for panamax shipments from the ports of Greater Odessa to South China and Vietnam also decreased by 1-2$ per ton. As for the hendisays, the situation here is stable. Rates to the eastern Mediterranean have dropped by 2$ per ton, to Tunisia and Spain by 1$ per ton, while the cost of transportation to eastern Italy remains stable.


May 08 - Brazil floods hit food silos, disrupt routes to major grains port
Heavy flooding in southern Brazil has hit food storage facilities in lower areas while hampering the shipping of grains to port, jeopardizing the nation's exports and wreaking havoc to the economy of Rio Grande do Sul state, a large soy, rice, wheat and meat producer. Anec, an association representing global grain exporters, said on Tuesday access to the port of Rio Grande had been disrupted as a local rail line stopped operating.

 

May 07 - Ukraine 2023/24 grain exports at 42 mln T so far
Ukraine's grain exports in the 2023/24 marketing season had reached almost 42 million metric tons as of May 6 compared with 42.6 million sent abroad as of May 8, 2023, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday. That included 624,000 tons exported so far in May, the data showed.

May 07 - Taiwan’s MFIG tenders to buy up to 65,000 metric tons of corn
Taiwan's MFIG purchasing group has issued an international tender to buy up to 65,000 metric tons of animal feed corn which can be sourced from the United States, Brazil, Argentina or South Africa, European traders said on Monday. The deadline for submitting price offers in the tender is Wednesday, May 8, they said.


May 06 - Russian trader Rodnie Polya gets approval for Egypt-bound vessel carrying wheat
Russia's agriculture watchdog said on Friday it had issued a certificate allowing an Egypt-bound vessel carrying wheat loaded by trading firm Rodnie Polya, previously known TD RIF, to leave port. The bulk carrier EDFU with 63,000 tonnes of wheat on board received a phytosanitary certificate after waiting for several weeks and was able to leave the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, a Rodnie Polya source said.


May 02 - Weekly Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) increased 6% to $3,095/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) fell 1% to $4,262/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly)  increased 2% to $3,365/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) fell 2% to $4,256/FEU.

Overall, the ocean container market has settled into a new routine that avoids the Red Sea due to Houthi attacks which continued this week.
Though significant backlogs, congestion and equipment shortages seen during the first few weeks of the crisis have dissipated, adjustments have resulted in some moderate but ongoing disruptions.
- Some West Mediterranean ports, for example, are now being used as transshipment hubs for East Mediterranean-bound containers, leading to some congestion there, and terminals in Colombo, Sri Lanka are also facing some backlogs as volumes have increased there for transhipment to the Middle East.
Some of the recent intra-Asia feeder service congestion is also being attributed to changes due to Red Sea diversions, though bad weather has also been a factor for some recent delays in the region.
- And even though carriers are operating more vessels than usual on service loops that normally use the Suez Canal with the aim of accommodating longer voyages and maintaining weekly schedules, there are still fewer than normal weekly Asia - Europe sailings actually departing.
Taken together, these drains on capacity are seeing significant nominal fleet growth due to newly built vessels entering the market, but only moderate effective capacity growth, resulting in still-elevated freight rates.
- Ocean rates out of Asia have been about level for the last four weeks, but at the $4,300/FEU mark from Asia to N. America’s East Coast and the Mediterranean, and about $3,000 - $3,300/FEU to the West Coast and N. Europe, prices remain well above normal and are likely to increase relative to this new floor as demand increases during peak season.
- Recovery efforts continued at the Port of Baltimore this week, where temporary channels let some trapped vessels exit the port, and accommodated the first container ship arrivals since the collapse. Officials expect to clear the Dali from the site by May 10th and restore full access for the largest container ships and other vessels by the end of the month.

May 02 - Weekly Air rates - Freightos Air index
- China - N. America weekly prices increased 9% to $5.65/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices increased 23% to $4.37/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices increased 1% to $1.81/kg.

- In air cargo, Freightos Air Index China to N. America rates climbed to $5.65/kg last week, 54% higher than in early April when prices were easing somewhat, and to Europe rates increased to $4.37/kg, 30% higher than a month ago, likely reflecting continued pressure from B2C e-commerce volumes.
- Middle East export rates which had been elevated since early in the year on increased sea-air demand due to Red Sea disruptions had eased somewhat by mid-April, possibly reflecting improvements in ocean logistics. In the last two weeks, though, prices have rebounded with N. America rates climbing 14% to $2.88/kg and rates to Europe increasing 30% to $1.78/kg, possibly reflecting impacts from a storm that flooded terminals in Dubai last week.
- Red Sea-driven congestion and decreases in ocean capacity out of India have pushed air cargo demand up and export rates to twice as high as at the beginning of the year. But for the last month prices have leveled off at about $5.40/kg to N. America and $3.85/kg to Europe suggesting that some volumes are still being pushed to air, but that the worst in terms of disruptions to ocean logistics may be behind us.


May 02 - Large ICE raw sugar delivery not necessarily bearish, traders say
The large raw sugar delivery at the expiry of the May contract on ICE is not necessarily a bearish sign, traders said on Wednesday, as it could indicate strong demand in the physical market. ICE said in a notice on Wednesday that the deliveries totaled 32,914 contracts, or around 1.67 million metric tons, the third largest for a May contract and the fourth largest for any contract month.

May 02 - Ukraine's April grain exports rise to 6.3 mln tons, ministry says
Ukraine's grain exports rose to 6.3 million metric tons in April from 5.5 million in March, agriculture ministry data showed on Wednesday. That included 4.1 million tons of corn, 1.9 million tons of wheat and 231,000 tons of barley, the data showed.


May 01 - Ukrainian Weekly Freight Report ( SPIKE_BROKER )

Sold freight
- railway logistics (eurohopper):
· Chop - Centre Germany (Grass-Worm) @54€ (Rape)
· Chop - Mon. Italy (Yellow-Dec) @52€

- As of 29.04, agricultural products were exported in bulk to 375 thousand tons by road transport, which is 7% more than in March (350 thousand tons) and 3% more than in February (364 thousand tons). The largest volumes of ʼ exports of agricultural products are recorded on the Romanian border - 113 thousand tons, the smallest - on the Slovak border - 33 thousand tons.
The total blockade of border crossing points with Poland contributed to an increase of almost four times daily export volumes at this border from 1 thousand tons to 4 thousand tons per day. The volume of traffic on the Romanian, Slovak and Hungarian borders has not undergone significant changes.
In April, the average daily pass rate across all borders increased and amounted to almost 13 thousand tons against 12 thousand tons per day in March. Export leaders during this period are sugar and sunflower oil - 60 thousand tons each.
Tariffs for road transport to European countries and to the ports of Greater Odessa remain unchanged.

- As of 28.04, the decrease in the volume of transmission of agricultural products by rail across the western borders continues. The average daily rate decreased by 11% per week and is 272 cars per day. Almost 30% decreased average daily transmission of cars in Romanian - 47.03 cars per day and Slovak - 29.22 cars per day borders. As for other borders, they have not undergone significant changes, on the Polish border the rate of carriage transfer is 77.75 cars per day, on the Hungarian - 33.6 cars per day.
The tendency of increase of cargo "on wheels" in the direction of ports of Big Odessa is continuing with a relatively constant number of norms of discharge in the port due to shelling of pF.
The number of wagons heading towards the ports of Greater Odessa has increased by 322 wagons or 4.23% to 7,930 wagons.
The average daily rate of unloading of wagons in the ports of Bolshaya Odessa increased by 14 cars or by 1.11% and is 1276 cars per day.
The average daily load of wagons in the port of Izmail increased by 1 car and amounted to 109 cars per day. In the direction of the port of Izmail, 1,059 cars are currently heading, which is 21 cars lower than last week's.

- Last week, the rates for transportation by sea decreased for the period May-June. Freight on coasters from the ports of Reni and Ishmael decreased by 2$ per ton. Rates for transportation from Greater Odessa towards Tunisia and Egypt also decreased by 1-2$ per ton. In turn, the freight for panamaxes in the direction of China and South Vietnam increased by an average of $ 2 per ton. The cost of freight barges to Constanta remained unchanged.


May 01 - Two more wheat ships headed for Egypt are facing delays in Russia
Two vessels carrying wheat purchased by Egypt's state grain buyer are facing delays in Russia, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, amid a dispute that caused other delays in the past month. Wadi Tiba and Edfu, both loaded with around 60,000 metric tons of wheat purchased by the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), have been stuck for weeks in Russian ports, the sources said.

May 01 - Ukraine barley exports seen high in May, producers say
Ukraine has exported around 200,000 metric tons of barley in April and already contracted 180,000 tons for exports in May, agricultural producers' union said on Tuesday. "We are actively selling old crop," the Agrarian Council, Ukraine's largest agribusiness group, said in a statement.


Apr 30 - Cargill expects busy Brazil grain exports in second half of year
Brazil's grain exports will pick up in the second half as soy and corn supplies increase despite a drought in the center-west earlier, Cargill's Brazil President Paulo Sousa said. Citing a positive outlook for soy in the Matopiba region and in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state, Sousa said in an interview that soy output projections may be revised upwards.

Apr 30 - Ukraine 2023/24 grain exports at 40.7 mln T so far
Ukraine's grain exports in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season had reached 40.7 million metric tons as of April 29 compared with 41.4 million a year earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday. That included 5.7 million tons exported so far in April, the data showed.


Apr 29 - Russian wheat export prices rise on weather risks to new crop
Russian wheat export prices rose amid difficult weather conditions for the new crop in the south of the country, as well as higher prices on global markets, analysts said. The price of 12.5% protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery in late May-early June was $212 a metric ton, up from $208 a ton the previous week.

Apr 29 - Ukraine 2023/24 grain exports stand at 40.3 mln T
Ukraine's grain exports in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season had reached almost 40.3 million metric tons as of April 26 versus 41.1 million a year earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Friday. That included 5.2 million tons exported so far in April, the data showed.


Apr 26 - Algeria buys durum wheat in tender, traders say
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased durum wheat in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said on Thursday. The precise volume bought was unclear, but trader estimates were mainly about 200,000 metric tons.

Apr 26 - Taiwan buys estimated 106,675 T wheat of U.S.
The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association purchased an estimated 106,675 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender on Thursday, European traders said. The purchase involved various wheat types for shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast in two consignments.


Apr 26 - The first specialized container ship arrived at the ports of Great Odesa (APK-Inform)

On April 21, the specialized container ship Pros Hope docked at a terminal in the port of Great Odesa, becoming the first vessel of this type to enter Ukrainian ports since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, Dumskaya reports.

As noted, previously, containers with cargo were delivered to the ports of Great Odesa not by specialized vessels, but by so-called feeders adapted for the transportation of goods of this type.

“Pros Hope is a ‘real’ container ship built in 2005 in Romania at the Vard Tulcea shipyard. The vessel is 148 meters long and 24 meters wide. The container ship is operated by the German company Interorient Marine Services,” the statement said.

It is also specified that the Pros Hope container ship came to Ukraine from Zhuhai, China, without calling at other ports.

Apr 25 - Ukraine grain exports at 40 mln T so far in 2023/24 season
Ukraine's grain exports in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season had reached almost 40 million metric tons as of April 24, against 40.7 million a year earlier, analyst APK-Inform quoted agriculture ministry data as showing on Wednesday. The data showed the overall volume included 4.9 million tons of various grains exported so far in April.


The work of the Ukrainian Sea Corridor is more effective than the "grain initiative" (APK-Inform)

During the seven months of the Ukrainian Sea Corridor's operation, it has exported 33.8 mln tonnes of cargo, which is more than during the year of the grain initiative, said Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine.

He reminded that the corridor was opened in August 2023 and in the first month of its operation, it was possible to remove ships blocked since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion.

"Today, 1140 vessels have already passed through the Ukrainian corridor, exporting 33.8 mln tonnes of cargo to 40 countries. Of these, 23.1 mln tonnes are products of Ukrainian farmers," the Minister emphasized.


Apr 25 - First full-size sugar vessel reaches Baltimore Refinery after accident
A full-size vessel carrying raw sugar was able to navigate through the 20-foot deep temporary channel at the U.S. Patapsco River on Wednesday and reach the Port of Baltimore for the first time since an accident blocked access to the port almost a month ago. The vessel The Jonathan carried supplies for the large sugar refinery operated by the ASR Group - the company that makes Domino Sugar - located at Port of Baltimore.


Apr 25 - NITRO SHIPPING Weekly Freight Report for Grains

- AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: The Azov Sea market experienced a decrease in strength this week. While there are still cargoes available, charterers are paying less due to low prices from Turkish buyers. The upcoming long May holidays in Russia are exacerbating the situation, as charterers traditionally avoid fixing deals during this time, forcing owners to be more flexible in negotiations. Russian-flagged owners are actively seeking opportunities outside of the Russian river, hoping to secure better freight levels compared to what is currently being paid at Azov Sea ports. Temryuk cargoes pay about usd 30 pmt fiost and lots from Yeisk offer mid 30's usd pmt fiost for prompt and beg May dates.

- FAR EAST: This week, the market hasn't shown a significant improvement.

- CASPIAN SEA: The region is still facing challenging circumstances, with exporters experiencing low business activity in the market. Vessels are also piling up in the roadsteads of Northern Iran due to the full capacity of storage facilities.

- BALTIC SEA: This week, the Baltic Sea has seen a strong demand for 5’k lots and larger cargoes, while there are fewer available for 3’k vessels.


Apr 24 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) fell 11% to $2,911/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) were level at $4,294/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) fell 7% to $3,304/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) fell 2% to $4,364/FEU.

- Following Iran’s missile and drone attack on Israel, and Israel’s retaliatory strike last week, tension between the two may be easing, which may decrease the risk of additional Iranian vessel seizures in the Strait of Hormuz for now.
Iran continues to hold the MSC-operated Aries and its crew, meaning that several hundred India-bound loaded containers will not arrive any time soon, and several thousand export containers waiting to depart from India on the Aries may face delays as well.

- India - Middle East shipments may face higher insurance costs as a result of this new threat, and though an escalation of actions by Iran in the strait would likely impact regional container trade operationally and in terms of higher freight rates – and if container flows to Dubai were affected, sea-air traffic through the key UAE hub would also be disrupted – so far there are no additional reports of disruptions and Freightos Terminal rate data ex-India shows no effect either.

- Ocean rates beyond the Middle East and S. Asia were not impacted by this latest disruption either. Ex-Asia prices decreased somewhat or were level last week, and remain well below their early-year peaks. However, Asia - N. America rates remain 90% higher than in 2019 to the West Coast and 60% higher to the East Coast at about $3,000/FEU and $4,300/FEU respectively, as Red Sea diversions continue to absorb capacity and make blank sailings rare even during these slow-season months.


- Likewise, Asia - N. Europe and Mediterranean prices are each more than double 2019 levels, and while rate announcements for May show some carriers aim to keep prices at about their current $3,300/FEU and $4,300/FEU levels respectively, others plan to introduce GRIs to try and push N. Europe rates up to $4,500/FEU and Mediterranean prices up to $5,600/FEU.

- The Panama Canal Authority has announced that it will further ease low-water restrictions as rainfall increases.  The PCA will increase daily transits to 31 by mid-May and to 32 starting in June – just below the pre-drought norm of 36 – and for the first time since restrictions were introduced almost a year ago, they will increase the maximum draft level from 13.41m to 13.71m in mid-June.

Apr 24 - Air rates - Freightos Air index
- China - N. America weekly prices decreased 16% to $5.18/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices increased 8% to $3.55/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices fell 4% to $1.80/kg.

In air cargo, a severe storm caused flooding in Dubai that led to a 24-hour closure of the airport last week and 300 canceled flights, though operations were expected to recover quickly.
B2C e-commerce volumes continue to be the big driver of demand and worries about available capacity out of China, especially late in the year during air’s peak season. Freightos Air Index rates ex-China remained elevated at $5.18/kg to N. America and $3.55/kg to Europe last week. Some carriers are taking steps to add capacity in response, including CMA CGM’s newly-announced transpacific service which will launch in June, though capacity is still expected to get even tighter in Q4.


Apr 23 - Russian wheat export prices down slightly last week on quota expansion
Russian wheat export prices decreased slightly last week amid active shipments and an expansion of the export quota for Russian grain, although dry weather began to affect harvest forecasts. The price of 12.5% protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery in late May-early June was $208 a metric ton, down from $210 a metric ton the previous week.

Apr 22 - Russia introduces extra grain exports quota of 5 mln T until June 30
Russia's government said on Saturday it has introduced an additional quota of 5 million tonnes for exports of wheat, meslin, rye, barley and corn outside the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union until June 30 to support local producers. The main export quota of 24 million tonnes had been set for Feb. 15 until June 30.

Apr 22 - Egypt's GASC buys 250,000 MT of raw sugar in tender
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), bought 250,000 metric tons of raw sugar in a tender, the supply ministry said on Sunday, revising an earlier figure of 200,000 metric tons. The ministry said the shipments would arrive from May to July.


Apr 19 - Paraguay on track for record soy crop, but low river levels slow exports
Paraguay is headed for a record soybean harvest but exporters are worried about low river levels that are slowing shipments along the key Paraguay-Paraná waterway, with a drought in central-west Brazil affecting water levels running downstream. Industry sources and an analysis of river level data showed that the Paraguay River, the main channel used for the landlocked country's grains exports, is far shallower than at the same time a year ago, impacting barges carrying grains down river.

Apr 19 - Tunisia buys about 25,000 metric tons durum wheat in tender - traders
Tunisia's state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 25,000 metric tons of durum wheat in an international tender on Thursday, European traders said. It was said to have been bought in one consignments at an estimated $376.49 a ton cost and freight included, they said.


Apr 18 - Jordan buys about 110,000 T feed barley in tender, traders say
Jordan's state grain buyer has purchased about 110,000 metric tons of animal feed barley in an international tender on Wednesday, European traders said. Some 50,000 tons was bought from trading house Ameropa at $216 a ton cost and freight included for shipment in the first half of August. Another 60,000 tons was bought from Nestwise also at $216 a ton c&f for shipment in the second half of July.

Apr 18 - South Korea’s KFA bought 70,000 T corn in private deal, traders say
The Korea Feed Association in South Korea purchased about 70,000 metric tons of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from either the United States or South America in a private deal on Tuesday without issuing an international tender, European traders said on Wednesday. It was believed to have been purchased by the KFA’s Incheon section from trading house Mitsui at an estimated $243.45 per ton c&f for arrival in South Korea around July 30.


Apr 17 - NITRO Shipping Weekly Freight Report for Grain

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: After the long Turkish holidays, the Azov Sea market has begun to show signs of recovery this week. However, trade remains sluggish and charterers are not very active. Several vessels that opened this week are seeking suitable cargoes and are prepared to negotiate freight rates. Following the holiday week, vessels are still waiting to offload their cargo, causing delays for their next voyages. Market participants have reported deficiencies in freight levels.

FAR EAST: The situation in the region remains unchanged.

CASPIAN SEA: The Caspian Basin is currently facing challenges as sales and new transactions are scarce. The market continues to decline, leading to an increase in
available fleet. Some shipowners have relocated their vessels to the Azov-Black Sea basin for opportunities. The situation in the river remains unchanged with few requests.

BALTIC SEA: The Baltic sea is pretty firm this week.


Apr 17 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) were level at $3,288/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) fell 1% to $4,276/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) increased 7% to $3,545/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) increased 3% to $4,436/FEU.

The day before Iran’s saturday missile and drone attack on Israel this weekend, the IRGC seized an Israeli-owned, MSC-operated container vessel near the Strait of Hormuz sailing from the Persian Gulf on its way to India. Alongside the ongoing, Iran-sponsored, attacks on Red Sea traffic, this event poses yet another potential challenge to the container industry.
If attacks like this one continue, broaden, or Iran moves to completely close the strait, Middle East container flows would feel the strongest impact. A closure would see Kuwait, Iraq and most of the UAE’s ports become inaccessible. Saudi Arabia, with access to their Red Sea port access already challenged, would see their Gulf port access cut off as well. These disruptions would also impact container hubs in India some of which are part of services that connect S. Asia and the Middle East.

On N. America’s East Coast, alternative ports continue to handle the rerouting away from the Port of Baltimore without reports of significant congestion or with increases in freight rates. Now, several weeks post the bridge collapse, it is unlikely that congestion or disruptions will materialize.
Ex-Asia ocean rates to N. America were level last week, and prices to Europe and the Mediterranean ticked up slightly, suggesting that container rates have reached their slow season, Red Sea diversion-adjusted floor of $3,000 - $4,500/FEU.

If diversions continue into the Q3 peak season months, we can expect rates to increase relative to this floor. And though volumes are likely to rebound to Europe, expectations, overall, are subdued. Demand projections for N. American imports are more optimistic. The latest National Retail Federation ocean import report for N. America projects volumes to be strong relative both to last year and to 2019 as we move into Q2 with total H1 volumes about 11% higher than in both 2019 and 2023, and with peak months of July and August about 5% above 2019 levels as well.

For most of the second half of last year, after coming down from pandemic-driven highs, transatlantic ocean rates leveled off at a loss-making $1,200/FEU. Early this year though, Red Sea diversions had knock-on effects on this lane too, with rates climbing to nearly $1,900/FEU in February. Rates have eased somewhat since then, but the latest volume reports suggest that a 10% year on year Q1 rebound in transatlantic demand also contributed to those stronger rates. At $1,728/FEU last week, and alongside reports of stronger utilization levels, prices on this lane may no longer be facing downward pressure.

Apr 17 - Air rates - Freightos Air index
- China - N. America weekly prices increased 69% to $6.17/kg
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 2% to $3.30/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly increased 1% to $1.88/kg.

In air cargo, B2C e-commerce demand out of China continues to be the biggest driver of strong volumes, tighter capacity and upward pressure on rates to N. America even during these typically slow months for air cargo. With Freightos Air Index prices from China to N. America at more than $6/kg last week – compared to the pre-pandemic norm closer to $2/kg for non-peak months – stakeholders are worried about spiking rates and trouble securing space during the Q4 peak season months when demand for both e-commerce and more traditional air cargo goods will increase.


Apr 17 - Ukrainian Weekly Freight report (SPIKE_BROKER)

Sold freight
- railway logistics (grain):
· Kharkiv region. - South, Ukraine @1,290 UAH with VAT
 
- In the first half of April, there was an increase in export shipments by road. From April 1 to April 15, 188,000 tons of agricultural products were transported across Western borders, which is 6% more than in the same period in March (177,000 tons) and 15% less than in February (222,000 tons).
The largest volume of traffic is recorded on the Romanian border - 60 thousand tons, and Moldovan - 50 thousand tons, while the smallest volume is observed on the Slovak border - 15 thousand tons and Polish - 24 thousand tons. The average daily rate for the passage of goods by cars across all borders is 12 thousand tons. Export leaders still remain sunflower oil - 31 thousand tons and sugar - 29 thousand tons.
Tariffs for road transport to Europe remain unchanged compared to the previous week, while towards the ports of Greater Odessa - with minor changes.
 
- As of 15.04, the total average daily average rate for the transmission of cars at border crossings was 297 cars per day, which is 20 cars or 3.26% less than last week.
There is a tendency to reduce the transmission of grain cars at the Romanian and Slovak borders. At the Polish and Hungarian borders, there is an increase in grain transfer rates.
The average daily rate of unloading wagons in the ports of Greater Odessa decreased by almost 10% or 133 cars per day and is 1252 cars / day. The number of grain carriages moving towards the Big Odessa ports decreased to 6,901 cars, which is by 578 cars or by 7.73% less than last week.
Due to the enemy shelling, the convention on the arrival of wagons in the port of Chornomorsk is imposed, so cargo is being redirected to other ports. In the morning of 15.04 in the direction of the port of Chornomorsk was going about 1.4 thousand cars.
In the port of Izmail, the queue of grain cars increased by 486 wagons or 1.1 times (from 443 wagons to 929 wagons) compared with last week. The rate of unloading wagons with grain in the port of Izmail is on average 88 wagons per day, during the week this figure decreased by 12 wagons per day or 12%. The rates of domestic transportation by rail have been slightly increased over the past week. According to experts, in the near future the cost is fixed at the current level.
 
- During the 15 days of April, the total export by water transport amounted to 3.5 million tons, including through the port of Chornomorsk 1.3 million tons, the port of Southern - 880 thousand tons, the port of Odessa - 818 thousand tons. Over the Danube, the export is 456 thousand tons. The rates of freight by sea remained unchanged relative to the levels of the previous week; at the same time, the rates of freight on the Danube rose to 10%.


Apr 17 - Egypt's GASC buys 120,000 MT of wheat in tender
Egypt’s state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), said on Tuesday it bought 120,000 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat in an international tender.

Apr 17 - Ukraine grain exports via Romania's Constanta port fall 35% in Q1
Ukraine's grain exports through Constanta fell by 35.1% on the year to 2.16 million metric tons in the first quarter, its port authority told Reuters on Tuesday, although overall grain exports via the Romanian Black Sea port were up by almost 28%. Constanta has become Kyiv's largest alternative export route since Russia's invasion in February 2022 and the port authority gave no immediate explanation for the drop from Ukraine, which is one of the world's biggest grain exporters.


Apr 16 - Russia-Ukraine Black Sea shipping deal was almost reached last month, sources say
Russia and Ukraine negotiated for two months with Turkey on a deal to ensure the safety of shipping in the Black Sea and reached agreement on a text that was to be announced by Ankara but Kyiv suddenly pulled out, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The negotiations were mediated by Turkey after nudging by the United Nations, according to the sources who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of such talks.

Apr 16 - South Korea's FLC bought some 65,000 T corn in private deal
South Korea's Feed Leaders Committee purchased around 65,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in a private deal on Friday without issuing an international tender, European traders said on Monday. The corn was expected to be sourced from either South America or South Africa. But traders said they had also been informed that United States-origin corn could also be a possible source.


Apr 15 - South Korea's FLC bought some 65,000 T corn in private deal
South Korea's Feed Leaders Committee (FLC) purchased around 65,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in a private deal on Friday without issuing an international tender, European traders said. The corn was expected to be sourced from either South America or South Africa.

Apr 15 - Ukraine grain exports at 37.6 mln T so far in 2023/24
Ukraine's grain exports in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season have fallen to around 37.6 million metric tons from 39.2 million a year earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Friday. Exports so far this season have included 14.7 million tons of wheat, 20.5 million tons of corn and 2.1 million tons of barley.


Apr 12 - China cancelled large Ukrainian corn purchases, traders say
Chinese buyers have cancelled shipments of Ukrainian-origin animal feed corn together totalling several hundred thousand metric tons, traders said on Thursday. The precise volumes were unclear, but some traders spoke of about 300,000 tons cancelled in up to five Panamax shiploads which had previously been bought for April/May shipment.

Apr 12 - Japan buys 121,485 tons food wheat via tender
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries bought a total of 121,485 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that closed on Thursday. Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of the country's second most important staple after rice and buys the majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued thrice a month.

Apr 11 - NITRO SHIPPING FREIGHT Report for Grains

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: This week, the Azov Sea freight market remains stable. With Turkey on holiday, the market has seen a slight calming after a period of growth at the end of last week. Vessels will remain inactive in Turkey until the end of the week, with discharge operations to take place next week. High water levels in Azov and Rostov are enabling vessels to load more cargo. River navigation has commenced, with several cargoes already discussed and fixed for transport towards Turkey. Additionally, a number of vessel owners are opting to reposition their vessels from the Caspian Sea to the Azov Sea at this time.

FAR EAST: The market is experiencing decreased stability, with rates for northern China increasing slightly as a result of a backlog of ships unloading.

CASPIAN SEA: The region continues to experience a stagnant situation. There are minimal new sales and low business activity in the market due to the holiday. Additionally, it has been observed that shipments via the river have had a less favorable start compared to the previous year.

BALTIC SEA: There are several grain cargoes available from Baltic sea ports, but charterers are seeking competitive freight rates to secure the shipments


Apr 11 - Brazil's Paranagua port conveyor belt idle amid explosion risk
The Port of Paranagua, one of Brazil's busiest for sugar and grain exports, said on Wednesday one conveyor belt at its so-called export corridor remains inoperative after labor authorities idled it over a "risk of explosion." The Paranagua Export Corridor Terminals Association, comprising a group of 10 companies that operate in the facility, ships approximately 20 million tons of grains per year using that structure, according to its website.

Apr 11 - Ukraine to ship 600,000 T corn to China in April, 400,000 T in May, brokers say
A total of 600,000 metric tons of corn could be exported from Ukraine to China in April and 360,000 tons of the commodity have already left the country, brokers said on Wednesday. Spike Brokers brokerage, which tracks and publishes export statistics, said on the Telegram messaging app that another 400,000 tons of Ukrainian corn could be shipped to China in May.


Apr 10 - Ukrainian Weekly SPIKE_FREIGHT report

Sold freight
- railway logistics (grain):
· Ternopil region - Chornomorsk, Ukraine @935 UAH with VAT
- automotive logistics (tent):
· Cherkasy region. - Mon. Italy @125€ excluding VAT

- During the first eight days of April, there is a decrease in export shipments by road. From April 1 to April 8, 97 thousand tons of agricultural products were exported through Western borders, which is 20% less compared to March (121 thousand tons) and 40% less compared to February (158 thousand tons).
The largest volume of transportation of agricultural products is observed on the Romanian border - 32 thousand tons and Moldovan - 26 thousand tons, the smallest - on the Slovak - only 7 thousand tons and Polish - 9 thousand tons. The average daily rate for crossing all checkpoints is 12 thousand tons. The largest volume of export by road is sunflower oil - 15 thousand tons and sugar - 14 thousand tons.
In April, market tariffs for road transport to Europe decreased by an average of 10-15€ depending on the direction. Prices for transportation to ports remain virtually unchanged.

- In April, the total average daily transfer of grain cargoes at the western borders was 285 wagons per day, reflecting a decrease of 22 wagons per day or 7.17%. The general tendency to reduce the transmission of cars on land corridors remains.
There is a decrease in the volume of grain shipments at the borders with Slovakia and Romania, as well as an increase in transmission at the borders with Hungary and Poland.
Over the past week, the number of grain carriers travelling to the ports of Big Odessa has decreased to 7,479 cars, which is 324 cars less than the previous week. Since the beginning of April, the rate of daily unloading of wagons with grain in the ports of Greater Odessa ranges from 1,200 to 1,540 wagons per day. In connection with the systematic attacks of Russia on the port infrastructure, there is no way to increase the rates of unloading wagons.
The queue in the direction of the port of Izmail was reduced to 443 cars, which is 180 cars less than last week. The average daily rate of unloading of wagons in the port of Izmail remains constant and is 100 cars per day.
The general trend towards lowering railway tariffs continues.

- As of 05.02, 1.471 million tons of grain, oil and processed products were exported and scheduled for shipment by water transport, including 360 thousand tons of corn and 65 thousand tons of wheat. Traders expect about 600 thousand tons of corn exports from Ukraine to China in April and 400 thousand tons in May. Rates of sea freight decreased on ships of class "Panamax" in the direction of China and remained unchanged for river transportation compared to last week.


Apr 10 - Russia's RIF halts agricultural goods handling at Azov terminal, owner says
One of Russia's largest grain exporters RIF has halted the handling of agricultural goods at an Azov terminal, its owner told Reuters on Tuesday, amid a row with authorities which has slowed grain exports. The river terminal, which leads to the Azov Sea, handles around 15,000 metric tons of grains per day, or some 4 million tons annually.

Apr 10 - Japan offers to buy 121,485 tons food wheat via tender
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is seeking to buy a total of 121,485 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close late on Thursday. Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of the country's second most important staple after rice and buys the majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.


Apr 09 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) fell 9% to $3,294/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) fell 19% to $4,309/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) rose 2% to $3,325/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) fell 19% to $4,316/FEU.

- Recovery efforts in Baltimore continued to make progress this week. Crews began the on-water removal of containers from the still-stuck Dali, as one necessary step in clearing the ship from the collision site.
In addition to three temporary, shallow, channels already enabling some vessels to access the port, a 35-foot deep channel that will be able to handle some Ro-Ro vessels as well as barges to shuttle some limited container volumes from Norfolk, is expected to open by the end of April.The Army Corp of Engineers now projects that full access to the Port of Baltimore can be restored by the end of May.
In the meantime, Baltimore-bound containers are being rerouted to other East Coast ports, with about 80% of these being handled at either Norfolk or New York/New Jersey. New rail services are already moving containers between the ports of Baltimore and NY/NJ to assist shippers disrupted by the closure.
Two weeks post the incident there have been no significant reports of regional road or port congestion as a result of the rerouting. East Coast ocean freight rates have decreased since the port closure in Baltimore, likewise suggesting that regional container traffic has continued to flow.

- Despite the Baltimore event, the broader drivers in ocean freight – easing demand as container trade is in its slow season and stabilized operations for Red Sea diversions – have continued to ease pressure on freight rates. But prices will remain above normal as long as the Red Sea threat persists, and Houthi attacks continued this week, with the group again threatening to expand their range . As a military solution to the attacks has proved elusive, the US envoy to Yemen is also exploring diplomatic incentives to bring the disruption to an end.

- Ocean rates from Asia to N. America have decreased by more than 30% from their February peaks, and to N. Europe and the Mediterranean prices have fallen by 25% since January, but remain about double their levels in 2019. Rates are now in the $3,000 - $4,000/FEU range for these lanes, which, recent April rate announcements suggest, is the carriers’ hoped-for floor as long as diversions continue to increase their costs and soak up capacity.
Though low-water measures in Panama did not prove terribly disruptive to container traffic, the easing of Panama Canal transit restrictions as the region enters the long-awaited rainy season is nonetheless welcomed news in the industry, and has lead Maersk to restore one of its services that had stopped using the canal.

Apr 09 - Air rates - Freightos Air index
- China - N. America weekly prices decreased 13% to $3.66/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices increased 2% to $3.36/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices fell 7% to $1.87/kg.

In air cargo, Red Sea-driven disruptions to ocean freight are still pushing some volumes to the air out of India, though demand is easing somewhat. Freightos Air Index rates out of S. Asia continued to climb through last week. Prices to N. America have increased 95% since mid-December to $5.40/kg which is the highest level since late 2022 for this lane, and to Europe rates have climbed 122% to $3.87/kg.
Rates out of sea-air hubs in the Middle East also continued to climb into April due to Red Sea diversions, and are up to $3.47/kg to N. America and $1.81/kg to N. Europe, which are respectively 12% and 24% higher than at the start of the Red Sea crisis.
Another driver of improved air cargo volumes is growing demand for B2C eCommerce out of China. Online retailers like Temu and Shein are increasingly buying up air cargo space to the West, and though China rates to N. America and N. Europe have declined in recent weeks, at $3.66/kg and $3.36/kg respectively, prices remain well above typical levels for non-peak periods.
One factor that will increase China - US air capacity and could ease some pressure on rates is the recent loosening of US restrictions on the number of weekly flights to the US allotted to Chinese carriers. Weekly flights increased from 35 to 50 for April, but remain a third of pre-pandemic levels.


Apr 09 - Russian wheat export prices rose further last week
Russian wheat export prices rose again last week, with analysts again slightly downgrading their estimates of exports in March. The price of 12.5% protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery in May was $210.0 a metric ton, up $2.0 from the previous week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said.

Apr 09 - Iran's SLAL believed to have bought about 100,000 T soymeal in tender
Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL is believed to have purchased about 100,000 metric tons of soymeal expected to be sourced from Argentina or Brazil in an international tender last week, European traders said on Monday. It was estimated to have been bought at in two consignments of round 50,000 tons each at about 500 euros ($541.30) a ton cost and freight (c&f) included with trading house Viterra believed to be the seller.


Apr 08 - Indonesian tender seeks 300,000 T of rice for May arrival, traders say
The international tender issued on Thursday by Indonesian state purchasing agency Bulog to buy 300,000 metric tons of rice seeks rapid arrival of the grain in Indonesia by May 31, European traders said on Friday. Bulog gave little information when issuing the tender, saying more information would be given after traders had registered to participate on Friday.

Apr 08 - Ukraine grain exports at 36 mln T so far in 2023/24, ministry says
Ukraine's grain exports in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season have fallen to around 36 million metric tons as of April 5 from 38.5 million a year earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Friday. Exports so far this season have included 14.2 million tons of wheat, 19.5 million tons of corn and 1.97 million tons of barley.


Apr 04 - Russia widens grain export curbs, halts some Aston ships, sources say
Russian authorities have halted grain exports on some ships belonging to Aston, one of the biggest local grain trading houses, two industry sources said, widening a quality probe which has already curbed the exports of another major trader. As the world's top wheat exporter, any disruption to Russian shipments can drive up global prices.

Apr 04 - Panama Canal drought could threaten supply chain, S&P says
The severe drought which has forced the Panama Canal, one of the world's busiest trade passages, to limit daily crossings could impact global supply chains during a period of high demand, S&P Global said on Wednesday. The canal has imposed several restrictions since 2023, though last month the Panama Canal Authority bumped up daily crossings to 27, from 24, as water levels rose at the man-made Gatun Lake which feeds into the canal.


Apr 03 - Ukrainian Weekly SPIKE_FREIGHT report.

Sold freight
- railway logistics (grain):
· Sumy region. - Chornomorsk, Ukraine @1250 UAH
- automotive logistics (grain truck):
· Cherkasy region. - Yuzhnoye, Odessa region (sunflower) @1'650 UAH with VAT

- In March 2024, 375 thousand tons of agricultural products were exported by road, compared to February - 364 thousand tons and January - 328 thousand tons. The largest volume of exports in March among the western borders is observed at the Romanian border - 114 thousand tons and Moldovan - 99 thousand tons. The fall is almost 3 times observed on the Polish border - 38 thousand tons, compared with 91 thousand tons in February and 104 thousand tons in January. The cost of transportation in the direction of Italy and Bulgaria has increased from 10 to 30€ per ton due to the lack of return cargo and the possibility of cost optimization. At the same time, the freight rate for Germany decreased by almost 15€ per ton of grain carriers transportation. Rates of freight of domestic transportation remained unchanged.

- During March, the volume of grain transmission at the western borders decreased - to 307 wagons per day. The average daily carriage at the borders of Poland was 78.26 cars per day, Romania 67.58 cars per day, Slovakia - 41.26 cars per day, and Hungary - 35.55 cars per day.
Freight rates by eurocars across Europe remain under pressure due to the lack of volume for transportation.
In the direction of the Black Sea ports, the average daily rate of unloading wagons in ports amounted to 1,368 wagons per day; for a week, this figure decreased by -45 wagons per day or -3.18%. Over the past week, the number of grain wagons has increased in the direction of the ports of Greater Odessa (from 7,063 wagons to 7,803 cars). The line for the Izmail port had dropped from 640 cars to 623 cars. The average daily rate of unloading wagons with grain in the port of Izmail is - 100 cars per day; for a week, this figure decreased by -2 cars per day or -1.96%.

- Ukraine exported 87% of all agricultural exports by water transport in March 2024. In March, the total export rate by water transport amounted to 6.1 million tons, compared to 6.4 million tons in February and 5.5 million tons in January. In particular, March exports by sea amounted to 5 million tons, and the river exported 1.1 million tons.
Frequent shelling by the aggressor of the south of Ukraine significantly affects the efficiency of the port infrastructure.
The Danube river fleet allows to deliver agricultural products by the river not only to Constanta (Romania) and Bulgaria, but also to the markets of Hungary, Austria and Germany. Freight rates by sea and river decreased by 1-3$ per ton.


Apr 03 - NITRO SHIPPING Freight Report for Grains

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: Azov sea market looks stable this week. There is a good balance between the amount of available tonnage and the volume of cargoes on the
market. Additionally, the high water levels at Rostov and Azov are enabling vessels to load more cargo (RSD type can load up to 7000 mts in Azov with current water levels).

FAR EAST: This week, the market has shown a significant improvement. Shipments from Russia to northern China have increased.

CASPIAN SEA: The Caspian basin is experiencing strain. Despite the end of holidays in Iran, numerous buyers are hesitant to engage in new contracts as the food market in
Iran remains oversaturated. Export activity is anticipated to increase around mid-April.

BALTIC SEA: The Baltic sea market has seen some signs of recovery following the
Easter holidays, but overall activity remains limited..


Apr 03 - Ukraine ships large volume of barley in March, producers say
Ukraine exported 339,000 metric tons of barley in March, among the largest monthly volumes this season, and is likely to keep exports stable in the coming months, a Ukrainian agricultural producer group said on Tuesday. Ukraine is a traditional barley grower and exporter, shipping almost 2 million tons from July 2023 to April 2024.

Apr 03 - Indian sugar mills seek export permission for 1 million tons as production improves
The Indian sugar industry has urged the government to allow exports of 1 million metric tons of the sweetener as unseasonable rainfall in key cane-growing states leads to increased production and supplies. The country is likely to produce 32 million tons of sugar in the current marketing year ending Sept. 30 against local demand of 28.5 million tons, the Indian Sugar & Bio-Energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA) said on Tuesday.


Apr 02 - China, India boost seaborne thermal coal imports as power demand surges: Russell
China and India lifted imports of seaborne thermal coal to three-month highs in March as the world's two biggest buyers took advantage of lower international prices of the fuel to meet strong domestic power demand. China, the world's biggest coal producer and importer, saw arrivals of seaborne thermal coal of 29.7 million metric tons in March, according to data compiled by commodity analysts Kpler.

Apr 02 - Ukraine's grain exports fall 10.3% in March to 5.2 mln T
Ukraine's grain exports fell to around 5.2 million metric tons in March from 5.8 million tons in February, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday. The ministry gave no explanation for the decrease. However, the UCAB Ukrainian farm business association in a statement linked the decline to Russian forces shelling southern Ukraine, which interrupted operations at seaports, and to Polish protesters blocking of land exports.


Apr 01 - Baltimore port closure could dent US coal export volumes, EIA says
Halted shipping traffic from the Port of Baltimore, the second-largest U.S. hub for coal exports, will slow the growth in U.S. coal exports and reduce bunker fuel use, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday. Coal exports from the busy U.S. port have been disrupted following the collapse of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge which was struck by a massive cargo ship early Tuesday morning.

Apr 01 - Grain ship loaded by Russia's TD RIF leaves Black Sea port after quality clearance, source says
A vessel that was loaded by TD RIF, one of Russia's key grain exporters, has left a Black Sea port after its cargo was certified as being free of pests and disease, a source in the company told Reuters on Saturday. Several grain vessels loaded by the company have remained idle in the country's Black Sea ports for more than 10 days, amid a row with Russia's agricultural watchdog over the quality of the grain they are carrying.


Mar 29 - Weekly Ocean Freight Comments (U.S. Grain Council)
- This week’s collision of the MV Dali with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, MD is a major and tragic event that will impact commodity and product trade flows into and out of the United States. The greatest impact will be on coal exports since Baltimore is the second largest handler of coal leaving the United States. Coal exports could be diverted to nearby Norfolk, VA, the largest handler of coal departing the United States, or there could be coal barged down the Mississippi River System for export through the New Orleans and Mobile Customs Districts in the Center Gulf, together the third largest handlers of coal export volume. If coal exports are diverted toward the Center Gulf, barge rates could be pressured higher for increased demand of inland towboat services.
- For agricultural commodities and products, Baltimore is the seventeenth largest port handling 2% of U.S. containerized agricultural exports and the tenth largest port handling 4% of U.S. agricultural imports. Of the agricultural commodities and products exported by container through Baltimore, animal feed, grocery items, dextrose, beer, poultry, soybeans, bitters, meat, dairy products, and rice starch represent about 80% of the volume. However, there will be minimal to no impact on bulk grain and soybean and agricultural products from the bridge collapse since most of those cargoes are exported through the U.S. Center Gulf and Pacific Northwest grain elevators and facilities

- The situation through the Red Sea continues with no meaningful changes taking place this week. The Houthis continue to call for a ceasefire and for Israel to pull out of Gaza. Until those conditions are met, the Houthis vow to attack vessels that have seeming solidarity with Israel. The commodity and product supply chains continue to adjust to bypass the Red Sea and the Suez Canal as a result.

- Water levels in Panama’s Gatun Lake were unchanged for a second week at 80.5 feet, keeping the variable freshwater surcharge unchanged at 2.89% as of March 28. That water levels are unchanged for two consecutive weeks is good news and should be reassuring that the worst of the low water conditions are nearly done, even though the seasonal dry period across Panama extends through May. The better news is that water levels in Gatun Lake are not expected to fall as much as anticipated and by the end of May are expected to recover after falling slightly.

- The sea-sawing action of ocean freight continues, with the Baltic Dry Index plunging 19% this week to 1,845, which is the lowest level in more than one month. The index was brought down by uncertainty in the Capesize market that ended the week down nearly 30% to an index of 2,638 while the Panamax sector was down 14% to 1,941. The Baltic Supramax Index was down slightly by 1% to 1,353. Economic uncertainty in China is trickling down to the freight markets, especially for iron ore purchases that move predominantly in Capesize and Panamax vessels.

- The weakness in the indices bled over to the voyage markets with freight rates for grain shipments from the U.S. Gulf to Japan down 7% or $4.86 per metric ton for the current week to $63.91 per metric ton. Out of the Pacific Northwest the rate to Japan was down 6% or $1.85 per metric ton to $28.83 per metric ton. The spread between these routes narrowed by 8% or about $3.00 per metric ton to $35.08 per metric ton.


Mar 28 - South Korea’s KFA bought 66,000 T corn in private deal, traders say
The Korea Feed Association (KFA) in South Korea purchased about 66,000 metric tons of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America or South Africa in a private deal on Wednesday without issuing an international tender, European traders said. It was believed to have been purchased by the KFA’s Incheon section from trading house ADM at an estimated $244.63 a ton c&f for arrival in South Korea around July 10.

Mar 28 - Brazil's No 1 coffee exporter reports lower 2023 shipments
Brazil's Cooxupe, the country's No. 1 coffee exporter and the world's largest coffee growers co-op, reported on Wednesday a large fall in 2023 shipments due to low prices and logistics bottlenecks. Cooxupe said in its annual report that it had shipped 4.5 million 60-kg bags of arabica coffee in 2023 versus 6.8 million bags in 2022. Total revenues fell to 6.4 billion reais from 10.1 billion reais in 2022.


Mar 27 - NITRO SHIPPING Weekly Freight Report for Grains

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA:
After a slight weakening last week, the market has
strengthened this week. The market is showing volatility. Vessels in the Black Sea have
been experiencing severe delays due to bad weather in recent weeks. As a result,
voyage performance is delayed, and charterers have to pay up to get a vessel.

FAR EAST:
This week, there were no major changes in the Far East, and the market
remained relatively stable.

CASPIAN SEA:
The market is currently experiencing significant stress, with a large
amount of available tonnage in Astrakhan causing some shipowners to exit the market
and rates to decline to usd 40 pmt fiost. Cargo levels remain low, but the upcoming
opening of river navigation is anticipated to revitalize the market.

BALTIC SEA:
The Baltic Sea market has experienced additional weakening this week in
anticipation of Easter in Europe. There is less activity and an increase in opening
positions for prompt dates..


Mar 27 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) fell 12% to $3,728/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) fell 10% to $5,284/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly)  fell 18% to $3,189/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) increased 9% to $4,532/FEU.

The 10,000 TEU container vessel Dali, operated as part of the Maersk/MSC 2M alliance on its Asia - US East Coast TP12/Empire service was on its way out of the Port of Baltimore and heading to Colombo, Sri Lanka when it may have suffered a loss of propulsion causing it to collide with a support of the Key Bridge early Tuesday, leading to the bridge’s collapse and several casualties.

The Port of Baltimore handles more roll-on/roll-off volumes than any other US port, including a large share of farm equipment exports – and is likely to have an impact on vehicle transport –  but is less critical in terms of container traffic. According to Vespucci Maritime, the port handled 1.1 million TEU in 2023, which would place it outside the top ten largest N. American container ports, and would represent less than 5% of total US ocean imports last year. Shippers that normally rely on the Port of Baltimore will face the challenge of urgently finding alternatives and will also likely incur higher costs for arrangements farther away from their desired hub. In the short term, there may also be some regional impact as the network adjusts to a shift of volumes to other ports. With most of Baltimore’s port terminals including its container terminals behind the collapsed bridge, containerized exports at or planning to depart from Baltimore will either need to wait until the waterway re-opens – though no timeline has been announced yet – or be rerouted by truck or rail to alternate ports in the region, likely the more major hubs like Norfolk or New York/New Jersey. Exporters choosing these options could face increased trucking and rail rates as demand increases for shifts to other ports.

Imports on vessels with scheduled Baltimore port calls will be diverted to other ports while the closure continues. Many of these vessels – including the Dali – already make multiple East Coast calls, and so will offload Baltimore volumes at those other stops. More vessels arriving at alternative ports, or longer port calls as vessels offload more containers could cause some congestion at those ports, meaning delays for shippers. But ocean freight is now in its slow season between Lunar New Year and peak season that typically starts in June or July. And at the moment there is no significant congestion at any of the major East Coast ports. So – though there could be some disruptions in the near term as the market adjusts – Baltimore’s volumes should be able to be shifted to other ports without causing too much of a disruption.

Some pull forward of peak season volumes in the coming months out of concern of possible labor disruptions at East Coast ports in Q3 could see imports stronger than they normally would be, though East Coast ports are expected to be able to handle these volumes nonetheless.  There may also be some shift to the West Coast for shippers concerned about possible disruptions from the Baltimore shutdown and from the threat of a strike later in the year, but, likewise, West Coast ports should be able to handle some increase in volumes.

If some East Coast congestion develops, it could put some upward, likely temporary, pressure on Asia - US East Coast and transatlantic freight rates. Asia - US East Coast rates are already elevated – they are more than double their level in March 2019 – due to diversions away from the Red Sea, but have fallen 22% to $5,284/FEU from their peak in February as demand has eased and carriers have made adjustments for the longer voyages. Transatlantic rates are about even with 2019 levels at $1,659/FEU.

Mar 27 - Air rates - Freightos Air index
- China - N. America weekly prices decreased 5% to $5.65/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 10% to $3.52/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices fell 4% to $2.06/kg


Mar 27 - Ukrainian Weekly SPIKE_FREIGHT report.

Sold freight
- automotive logistics (grain truck):
· Cherkasy region. - Yuzhnoye, Odessa region (sunflower) @1'540 UAH with VAT

- In March, as of 25.03, Agroexport amounted to 297 thousand tons, compared to 331 thousand tons in February and 230 thousand tons in January in the same period. The main export share in March is sunflower oil - 50 thousand tons, sugar - 37 thousand tons and poultry meat - 20 thousand tons.
- The average rate of agricultural production passing through border posts per day in March was: 3,170 tons across the border with Moldova; 1,183 tons with Poland; 3,605 tons with Romania; 1,020 tons with Slovakia; 2,933 tons with Hungary.
Freight rates in the direction of Europe continued to decline to the level of the off-season low. Some car operators report simple cars without ordering.
The cost of transportation in Ukraine remained unchanged. The factors of devaluation of the hryvnia and the increase in the cost of imported fuel have stopped the trend of reducing the cost of transportation.

- The rate of export shipments by rail through the western borders of Ukraine in March remained almost unchanged at 317 wagons per day. The share of export shipments from Ukraine by European trains is growing. Across the border with Poland, on average, 75.09 cars were delivered per day in March, including a transfer of 1435 mm - 61.08 cars per day to the "euro" gauge. Across the Romanian border 70.08 cars per day, including "euro" track 1435 mm - 54.0 cars per day. The border with Hungary passed - 39.38 cars per day, including "euro" tracks of 1435 mm - 33.42 cars per day. Across the border with Slovakia there were - 45.59 cars per day, including "euro" tracks of 1435 mm - 31.54 cars per day. Freight rates to Northern Italy from Chop during the March-May period remain in the range of 45-50€ per ton. Shipments by rail towards Ukrainian seaports have decreased over the past week. The average number of carriages moving towards the Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea decreased from 7,288 to 7,063 carriages. The average daily rate of unloading of wagons in the ports of Greater Odessa in March also decreased to 1,413 cars per day. Rates of freight domestic rail transportation in Ukraine remain at the level of the off-season minimum.

- Active shelling of Ukraine, in particular, the South, from the side of Russia last week led to interruptions in export shipments and a decrease in the rate of export by water transport. Rates of sea freight remained stable compared to last week. There is a decrease in cargo volumes in April and May, which may affect the adjustment of rates. Freight rates from the Danube river ports to Constantia increased to €20-25 per ton.


Mar 27 - Shipping traffic freezes up in port waters after Baltimore bridge collapse
Ships sailing to the U.S. port of Baltimore dropped anchor in waters nearby while vessels were stranded inside the port after traffic was halted following a bridge collapse, shipping data showed on Tuesday. A 948-foot container ship smashed into a four-lane bridge in the port in darkness early on Tuesday, causing it to collapse and sending cars and people plunging into the river below.

Mar 27 - Shipping industry faces fuel dilemma in bid to cut emissions
The shipping industry is under increasing pressure to decarbonize, but unclear regulatory guidelines, including around what sorts of cleaner fuels large vessels should run, is complicating that path to net zero, according to executives. Global shipping firms are looking for ways to lower their carbon footprints, particularly as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which regulates the global shipping industry, is being pushed to implement a charge on the sector's greenhouse gas emissions.


Mar 26 - Russia's dispute with leading exporter blocks 400,000 metric tons of grain
A dispute with federal authorities is preventing some 400,000 metric tons of grain from being processed and shipped to buyers, the owner of one of Russia's largest grain exporters TD RIF told Reuters. On Friday, Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's agricultural watchdog, said there had been an increase in complaints from importing countries about the non-compliance of Russian grain quality with quarantine requirements, including supplies from RIF.

Mar 26 - Brazil's Rumo, Embraport to build $503 million grains, fertilizer terminal at Santos port
Brazilian rail operator Rumo has signed an agreement with Embraport to build a port terminal handling grains and fertilizers at the Santos port in Sao Paulo state, Rumo said on Monday. The terminal's construction will cost an estimated 2.5 billion reais and be funded through loans and potential strategic partnerships, Rumo said in a filing.


Mar 25 - Funds chip away at CBOT grain, oilseed shorts ahead of key US data -Braun
Speculators last week covered short positions in Chicago-traded grains and oilseeds for a second consecutive week as futures continued climbing off recent multi-year lows. The collective fund positioning is the most bearish for mid-March, which sometimes features relatively tamer market action as traders await pivotal U.S. stocks and acreage data at the end of the month.

Mar 25 - Japan buyer agrees to pay Q2 aluminium premium of $145/T, up 61% from Q1, sources say
A Japanese aluminium buyer has agreed to pay a global producer a premium of $145 per metric ton over the benchmark price for shipments in April to June, up 61% from the current quarter, two sources involved in the pricing talks said. The figure is much higher than the $90 per ton paid in the January-March quarter and falls at the lower end of the initial offers of $145-$155 made by producers.


Mar 22 - Somali pirates' return adds to crisis for global shipping companies
As a speed boat carrying more than a dozen Somali pirates bore down on their position in the western Indian Ocean, the crew of a Bangladeshi-owned bulk carrier sent out a distress signal and called an emergency hotline. No one reached them in time. The pirates clambered aboard the Abdullah, firing warning shots and taking the captain and second officer hostage, Chief Officer Atiq Ullah Khan said in an audio message to the ship's owners.

Mar 22 - China 2024 grain imports seen near record high despite cancellations
Cereal and oilseed imports to China, the world's biggest buyer of farm goods, will remain near record highs this year despite a recent spate of cancellations as lower global prices and a domestic output shortfall prompt purchases. China's wheat imports from Australia in January and February this year have nearly quadrupled from the same time last year, the latest customs data show. That trend should continue even after Beijing cancelled or postponed 1 million metric tons of Australian wheat last week.


Mar 22 - U.S Grain Council Ocean Freight Weekly Comments
- The number of vessels using the Red Sea continues to shrink as the Houthis keep attacking vessels plying the important waterway option. With three merchant mariners having been killed, and two vessels requiring salvage, which is being delayed due to on-going attacks, the prudent option for vessel owners and operators is to avoid the region. But it is not just the Houthis making terrorist attacks, now the Somali pirates are resurging in their efforts to take advantage of the situation by attacking vessels and crews further south of where the Houthis are attacking.
- By avoiding the Red Sea and the Suez Canal consequently, that means transit lengths are doubled in many instances, requiring longer delivery times, more fuel consumption, higher insurance costs through war risk premiums on the value of the vessel while requiring enhanced vessel security protocols, and there is then less capacity to move the same volume. For vessel owners the longer routes increase vessel utilization while leading to increasing or higher and stable ocean freight rate levels that are passed on to shippers. - ----Container carriers were already struggling with less cargo being moved due to slowing global economic growth and as several new vessels were about to hit the waters. Those new vessels entering service are being deployed on the longer routes and this crisis allows the carriers to withstand the situation a bit stronger.
- Meanwhile, water levels in Panama’s Gatun Lake were unchanged this week at 80.5 feet, keeping the variable freshwater surcharge unchanged at 2.89% as of March 21. Panama is amid its seasonal dry season that continues through May. Water levels in Gatun Lake are expected to fall one foot to 79.5 feet through late May, which would increase the freshwater surcharge would be 4.26%. Next week the three additional slots available for transit through Panama Canal that were announced last week, will be fully available. The number of daily slots will be 27 but that is down from the usual 36 daily transits.
- Baltic ocean freight indices are maintaining firm tones for the smaller vessel sizes. Demand for vessel loadings in South and North America are propping up rates, while bunker fuels have strengthened as crude oil prices have been rising since the start of 2024. Bunker prices have been under pressure, especially in the Atlantic and from Houston most notably to accommodate greater usage for vessels bypassing the Red Sea and sailing around the Cape of Good Hope.
- Despite the strength in the smaller vessel classes, the Baltic Dry Index was pulled lower for the week by the Capesize market. The BDI, a basket of all dry bulk vessel types, ended the week 3.6% lower to an index of 2,284 as the Capesize sector, which greatly influences the BDI, was down 12% to an index of 3,690. Concerns with China’s slowing economy, high iron ore stocks and weakening iron ore prices are weakening demand for Capesize and some Panamax vessels. The Baltic Panamax Index was up 10% for the week to 2,251 while the Baltic Supramax Index was up 5% to 1,370.
- Ocean freight rates for grain shipments remain strongest out of the Atlantic Basin in both North and South America. Out of the U.S. the Gulf to Japan was up 6.5% or about $4.20 per metric ton for the current week to $68.77 per metric ton while out of the Pacific Northwest the rate to Japan was 2.6% or less than one dollar to $30.68 per metric ton. The spread between these routes widened 10% or $3.41 per metric ton to $38.09 per metric ton.


Mar 21 - Russia's coal exports to China fall in Jan, Feb as sanctions, tariffs weigh
Russia's coal shipments to China fell by almost a quarter on the year in January and February as sanctions and trade-related duties weighed, customs data showed on Wednesday. Most of Russia's lost market share was replaced by higher shipments from Australia and Mongolia, with China's overall coal imports expected to be largely flat in 2024.

Mar 21 - Egypt's GASC buys 110,000 MT of wheat in tender
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, bought 110,000 metric tons of wheat in an international tender on Wednesday, GASC and traders said. The purchase comprised 50,000 metric tons of Bulgarian wheat and 60,000 metric tons of Romanian wheat, they said.


Mar 20 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) fell 4% to $4,244/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) fell 4% to $5,875/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) fell 10% to $3,871/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) fell 7% to $4,155/FEU.

- In the latest development in the Red Sea crisis, Houthis recently announced threats to expand their attacks to Indian Ocean traffic, aimed at disrupting vessel flows already diverting away from the Red Sea toward the Cape of Good Hope.   
In the meantime, with most container traffic already avoiding the Suez Canal, demand easing, and operations stabilizing, ocean rates continued to decrease across the major tradelanes.
- Weekly rate averages out of Asia last week fell another 7% to N. America and 7-10% to N. Europe and the Mediterranean. Prices have continued to drop so far this week with rates to N. America now about 25% lower than its February peak, and prices to N. Europe and the Mediterranean about 30% lower than their respective peaks in late January.  
Most observers expect rates to remain well above normal levels while diversions continue, as carriers are facing higher costs and the longer routes soak up capacity.  Still, current rates are around 2.5X their levels in 2019, suggesting there may be further to fall before prices settle at a new, elevated floor.
- Optimistic N. American demand projections could also help keep N. America rates above normal, with carriers reportedly adding capacity for the coming month in anticipation of improving volumes. Easing Panama Canal restrictions announced last week – which will increase daily transits to 27 – are also a good sign for transpacific shippers to the East Coast. However, concerns over the looming October deadline for the East Coast and Gulf port worker union and port operators to reach an agreement may pull some demand to the earlier months of peak season this year or shift some volumes to the West Coast, though many are hopeful that labor disruptions can be avoided.  

Mar 20 - Air rates - Freightos Air Index

- China - N. America weekly prices increased 50% to $5.94/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices increased 32% to $3.93/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices increased 3% to $2.15/kg.

- Though ocean flows out of India are improving, there is still additional pressure on air cargo in the region which started in late January due in large part to Red Sea-driven disruptions, with demand for sea-air out of Dubai also still elevated. Freightos Air Index rates out of S. Asia reached $4.60/kg to N. America last week, 55% higher than in December, with prices to Europe nearly double their end of year level at $3.55/kg.
- Demand out of China has also climbed in the last couple weeks, with growing e-commerce volumes one factor. Rates reached $5.94/kg  to N. America and $3.93/kg to N. Europe last week. American passenger carriers opting to still not fully restore weekly schedules to China due to lagging tourism demand may also represent some capacity restraint for this lane.


Mar 20 - Ukrainian SPIKE_FREIGHT weekly report

- Sold freight
- automotive logistics (grain truck):
· Chernihiv region. - Pivdenne, Odesa region (March-April) - UAH 1,540, VAT included

- Exports of agricultural products by road amounted to 211,000 tons as of 18.03, compared to 255,000 tons in February and 136,000 tons in January in the same period. The main share of exports by road in March does not change sunflower oil - 35 thousand tons, sugar - 27 thousand tons and poultry meat - 14 thousand tons.
There is an increase in the volume of road transport across the border with Moldova and the stability of the volume of transportation across the borders with Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, which compensates for a decrease in the capacity of the border with Poland. The transition of the agricultural market during the off-season significantly reduced the volume of orders by farmers. Rates of domestic freight and transportation in the direction of Europe decreased to 10% compared to last week.

- The daily rate of export shipments by rail across the western borders of Ukraine in March is kept at 313 wagons per day. There is a slight increase in the volume of grain shipments on the borders with Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, as well as a decrease in the volume of transmission with Romania. Freight rates to Northern Italy from Chop in the period March-May have already decreased to 45-50€ per ton. Significant coverage of demand in Europe for the next 3 months does not allow traders, even at such levels of freight rates, to increase the flow of goods across Western borders. "Dry ports" on the western border began to reduce the complex rates of transshipment to 15-16€ per ton.
The shipment rate in the direction of seaports is kept at a stable level. The average number of carriages moving towards the Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea increased from 6,200 to 7,288 carriages. The average daily rate of unloading wagons in the ports of Greater Odessa in March amounted to 1,428 cars per day. Rates of freight domestic rail transportation in Ukraine remain at the off-season minimum. At the same time, during the April-May period, an additional slight decrease in rates in the direction of ports is expected.

- According to information from the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Yuriy Vaskov, the Ukrainian sea corridor began to operate around the clock. As of 15.03, agricultural exports amounted to 2.9 million tons by water transport, compared to 3.2 million tons in February for the same period.
The reduction of grain and oilseeds residues will slow the pace of export shipments by sea at the end of the season. Rates of sea and river freight began to decline because of the expected seasonal decrease in export shipments in the following months.


Mar 20 - Ukraine ships 1.33 mln metric tons of grain through Constanta port in Jan-Feb
Ukraine shipped 1.33 million metric tons of grains through the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta in the first two months of the year, the port authority said on Tuesday. Ukraine is one of the world's biggest grain exporters, and Constanta has become Kyiv's largest alternative export route since Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Mar 20 - Algeria buys 100,000 to 200,000 T durum wheat, traders say
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC is believed to have purchased durum wheat in an international tender which closed on Tuesday, European traders said. The precise volume bought was unclear but estimates were of a relatively small purchase of between 100,000 to 200,000 metric tons.


Mar 19 - CLI terminal in Brazil projects 15% increase in grains, sugar shipments
Logistics company CLI, who operates one of the largest agricultural commodities export terminals in Brazil, projects to ship around 15% more grains and sugar in 2024 due to increased demand from commodities traders and mills. According to the company's director of operations, Luis Neves, sugar shipments will likely grow more than 1 million metric tons this year to up to 9.5 million tons, while grains loadings are estimated to increase 1 million tons to 6.5 million tons.

Mar 19 - Ukraine maritime farm exports at 2.95 mln T in March 1-15, ministry data shows
Ukraine's maritime agricultural exports were at 2.95 million metric tons in March 1-15 and corn dominated the shipments, farm ministry data showed on Monday. The ministry gave no comparative figures. Ukrainian maritime farm exports totalled 6.38 million tons in February.


Mar 18 - Pressure builds for charge on global shipping sector's CO2 emissions
The European Union, Canada, Japan and climate-vulnerable Pacific Island states are among 47 countries rallying support for a charge on the international shipping sector's greenhouse gas emissions, documents reviewed by Reuters showed. The documents, being discussed at an International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting now entering a second week, outline four proposals with a combined 47 backers for imposing a fee on each tonne of greenhouse gas the industry produces.

Mar 18 - Algeria tenders to buy soft wheat for shipment to 2 ports, traders say
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy soft milling wheat for shipment to two ports only, European traders said on Sunday. The tender sought a nominal 50,000 metric tons but the shipment to two ports generally indicates a small purchase is planned, traders said.


Mar 15 - Brazil eyes exports via China-controlled Chancay port, Peruvian minister says
Brazil is interested in exporting soy, corn and other products through Peru's China-controlled Chancay port, Peruvian Economy Minister Jose Arista said on Thursday, according to state news agency Andina. Brazilian Planning Minister Simone Tebet visited the port, still under construction, earlier this week and spoke with Arista about the possibility of using it as an export route, Andina reported.

Mar 15 - Japan buys 114,305 metric tons of food-quality wheat via tender
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 114,305 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the U.S., Canada and Australia in a regular tender that closed on Thursday. Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of its second-most important staple after rice, buying a majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.


Mar 15 - Weekly Ocean Freight Comments (U.S. Grain Council)
- The Panama Canal Authority announced this week it is increasing the number of available transit slots by three through the Panamax Locks. Two slots will be available for auction starting March 18 and one more starting March 25, bringing the total number of daily transit slots to 20 through the Panamax Locks. The number of daily transits through the Neopanamax Locks were left unchanged at 7. Overall, the Panama Canal will have 27 daily transit slots available beginning March 25, up from 24. Under normal operating conditions the number of daily slots is 36. The ACP was expected to update transit options in April. This early announcement is good news for shippers, vessel owners and operators struggling with Red Sea diversions and having to deploy assets onto other routes to keep up with capacity requirements.


- Despite the ACP’s enthusiasm with three additional slots, water levels in the Gatun Lake were lower again this week, falling to 80.5 feet (down from 80.7 feet last week). While persisting in its dry season that extends through May, water levels in Gatun Lake are expected to fall nearly one foot to 79.6 feet through the remainder of the dry season. The freshwater surcharge is currently 2.89%, up from 2.65% last week. If water levels fall to 79.6 the freshwater surcharge would be 4.11% Red Sea diversions continue as Houthis keep attacking vessels. After last week’s attack that killed three mariners, security forces from the United States and United Kingdom have stepped up protection and offensive efforts. But for vessel owners and operators the safest option is avoiding the Red Sea route altogether by deploying vessels on longer routes around the Cape of Good Hope. Shippers are using other commodity flow options that consider ocean freight costs and timeliness of cargo shipments.


- Baltic ocean freight indices are maintaining firm tones. The Baltic Dry Index, for example, a basket of all dry bulk vessel types, ended the week nearly 9% higher to an index of 2,370. The Capesize and Panamax sectors had the most strength for the week. The BCI was 11% higher to an index of 4,189 while the BPI was up 12% to index of 2,043, which was the highest reading since mid-December 2023. However, there are head winds as China built substantial iron ore stocks, while experiencing an on-going slowing in its economy. The result is weakening iron ore prices and less demand for shipment in the larger vessel classes such as the Capesize and Panamax vessels.


- Despite potential head winds from the iron ore market, the FFAs (Forward Freight Agreements) for Panamax vessels are rising. The average Panamax time charter FFA in April is pointing to $19,700 per day, up more than $2,000 per day over the past week. The Supramax sector, however, has mixed results, mostly flat to slightly lower this past week, to $16,250 per day for April. Ocean freight rates for grain shipments out of the U.S. were the strongest out of the U.S. Gulf. The U.S. Gulf to Japan was up more than 6% to $65.58 per metric ton for the week while out of the Pacific Northwest the rate to Japan was up less than 1% to $29.90 per metric ton. The spread between these routes widened 11.5% or nearly $3.60 per metric ton to $34.68 per metric ton. The Atlantic Basin, where the U.S. Gulf is based, had a firmer tone across both North and South America originations. Although, the U.S. Gulf to Egypt was lower on the week, which is likely due to a delay of that rate being reported in a timely manner.


Mar 14 - NITRO Shipping Freight Report for Grains

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: The Azov sea freight market appears to have strengthened slightly this week. Spot vessels are willing to negotiate rates. Owners are asking for 2-3 usd more for prompt dates compared to spot rates and are choosing to wait rather than enter into agreements now. There is still higher demand for 3'k vessels compared to 5'k vessels and charterers are ready to pay high 30's usd pmt fiost for 3'k wheat ex Rostov to Marmara.

FAR EAST: The market is still very poor. There is weak business activity of market participants.

CASPIAN SEA: The market is facing great pressure as a result of a decrease in export shipments due to buyers canceling their contracts. Shipowners are attempting to maintain the market at its previous levels, but the downward trend is unmistakable.

BALTIC SEA
: Exporter activity remains weak, contributing to the overall weakness of the market.


Mar 14 - Ukraine's monthly seaborne farm exports seen 20% down
Ukraine's agricultural maritime exports in March are expected to fall by 20% from February, Spike Brokers said on Wednesday. The brokerage, which tracks and publishes export statistics, gave no exact volumes for food exports in March, though the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday that 2.2 million metric tons of grain have been shipped so far this month.

Mar 14 - China coal group says US curbs on Russia to keep prices high, hurt exports
Tougher U.S. sanctions on Russia's coal firms will keep global prices of high-calorific-value coal high in the near term, affecting a fifth of the latter's coal exports, a Chinese industry group warned on Wednesday. Sanctions imposed last month by Washington specifically cite top exporters Suek and Mechel among broad targets ranging from payment systems to financial institutions and energy production.


Mar 13 - Ukrainian Weekly SPIKE_FREIGHT report

Sold freight
- railway logistics (grain):
· Kharkiv region. - South, Ukraine @1150 UAH
· Lviv region. - Chornomorsk, Ukraine @1'140 UAH
- railway logistics (eurohopper):
· Chop, Ukraine - Mon. Italy (April-June) @45€

- As of 11.03, the total export of agricultural products by road in March amounted to 132 thousand tons, compared to 172 thousand tons in February and 46 thousand tons in January in the same period. Continuing to lead in automobile exports sunflower oil, sugar and poultry meat. On the Polish border at 13.03 protesters plan to renew the block of trucks in the direction of the checkpoint "Korchova-Krakivets". On the direction of the checkpoints "Dorohusk-Yahodyn", "Dolhobychów-Uhryniv", "Hrebene-Rava-Ruska", "Medika-Shehyni", the restriction of traffic for trucks continues. The cost of road transport in Ukraine is kept at the level of last week. Rates of freight in Europe have not changed compared to last week's figures.

- The rate of agricultural export by rail through the western borders of Ukraine has significantly decreased to the average daily rate of delivery of goods across the border in 299 wagons per day. This is the lowest level since the war. The glut of the European market with the last year's remains and the inability of European railway operators to react in time with freight rates to changing the market conditions of the commodity market did not allow Ukrainian products to find sales by land in the European market in the next 5 months in time.
Freight rates by rail in Europe are drawn "bottom" and decreased by 10% compared to last week's indicators. Logistics in Europe is trying to find downloads by adjusting rates downwards.
In the direction of the ports of Greater Odessa increased the number of cars on the road. Over the past week, this figure has increased to 6,200 cars. The average daily discharge capacity of wagons in the Black Sea ports ranges from 1,220 to 1,500 wagons per day.
Railway freight rates in Ukraine are also reduced. The decrease in agricultural residues slows down the activity of farmers and traders in shipments.

- The rate of exports by water transport is slowed down in March relative to February. According to current trends, total exports in March can be up to 20% lower than in February. Rates of sea freight remained unchanged for all directions.


Mar 13 - Jordan buys about 60,000 T feed barley in tender, traders say
Jordan's state grain buyer purchased about 60,000 metric tons of animal feed barley in an international tender on Tuesday, European traders said. It was bought at an estimated $216.75 a ton c&f for shipment in the first half of April. The seller was believed to be Romanian trading house Cerealcom Dolj.

Mar 13 - Ivory Coast regulator warns cocoa exporters not to overpay
Ivory Coast's market regulator warned cocoa exporters on Tuesday against paying above the mandated price for beans delivered to their facilities at the top growing country's ports, threatening offenders with fines and the loss of their licenses. Ivory Coast and number two producer Ghana are in the midst of their worst harvest in years, with Ivorian arrivals estimated to be down by more than 28% on last season.


Mar 13 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index
- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) fell 7% to $4,419/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) fell 8% to $6,107/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly)  fell 4% to $4,313/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) fell 10% to $4,479/FEU.

- Hostilities in the Red Sea intensified last week, and included the first seafarer casualties. But with most container traffic already avoiding the Suez Canal, demand easing as the market enters its slow season, and operations settling into a new routine, rates continued to ease across the major tradelanes.
- Asia to N. America ocean rates are down 10% from their peak, with Asia - N. Europe prices 22% lower and Asia - Mediterranean rates 34% below their high in late January. Ocean logistics out of India had been the hardest hit by the Red Sea disruption, but even on this lane rates are beginning to decline and some carriers are postponing surcharges or increases that had been planned for March.
- Last week at TPM, Sea Intelligence’s Alan Murphy estimated that rates should settle around 1.5 to 2X above the long term average, which would mean prices still have a way to go to their new floor as Asia - N. America West Coast and N. Europe prices are more than triple 2019 levels and East Coast and Mediterranean rates are still more than double.  
- The latest National Retail Federation report shows that N. American ocean import volumes in January were 8% higher than last year and February imports were 23% higher than a year ago. H1 totals are projected to be 8% higher than in 2019, suggesting modest growth and also showing that container volumes continue to flow despite the Red Sea complications.
- As ocean expert Lars Jensen recently put it, the diversions are really a challenge not a crisis, and the extra vessels needed to service the longer routes are absorbing extra capacity and leading to a balanced market.  
But when Red Sea traffic resumes we can expect overcapacity to return, rates to fall and blank sailings to increase, though not all observers agree how significant overcapacity will prove to be.

Mar 13 - Air rates - Freightos Air index
- China - N. America weekly prices fell 20% to $3.97/kg
- China - N. Europe weekly prices increased 35% to $2.97/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly increased 4% to $2.08/kg.

- Air rates out of S. Asia, however, where as mentioned above, ocean disruptions were the most severe, have continued to climb through last week. S. Asia - N. America rates have increased 43% since mid-December to $4.30/kg and to Europe prices have climbed 67% to $3.02/kg.
- In air cargo, Red Sea disruptions to ocean freight have led to some shift to air and increased volumes in February. And though there were reports of congestion at hubs like Bangkok and Dubai in early March, rates on most lanes are subsiding, with China - N. America Freightos Air Index rates at $4/kg last week and China - Europe rates at $3/kg.


Mar 12 - USDA confirms more cancellations of US soft red wheat sales to China
Private exporters canceled sales of 264,000 metric tons of U.S. soft red winter wheat that had been booked for delivery to China, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed on Monday. It was the third cancellation in as many business days and the largest of the three, following two cancellations last week totaling 240,000 tons of soft red wheat sold to China.

Mar 12 - Russian coal exports to Asia struggle amid lower prices: Russell
Russia's exports of seaborne coal to Asia have been weakening in recent months, with lower shipments of both thermal grades and metallurgical coal used to make steel. Exports of all grades of coal were assessed by commodity analysts Kpler at 8.48 million metric tons in February, slightly higher than January's 8.37 million.


Mar 11 - Argentina's planned corn shipments hit five-year high - exchange
Argentina's scheduled corn exports hit their highest levels in at least five years in the early part of 2024, the Rosario grains exchange said on Friday, hitting 1.9 million metric tons and boosted by leftover stocks from the previous season. The exchange predicts the 2023/24 season will produce a record 57 million-metric ton harvest, helped by favorable rainfall.

Mar 11 - Mongolia aims to keep coal exports steady, industry official
Mongolia aims to keep coal exports to China broadly steady at 60 million metric tons in 2024, an official from the Mongolian Coal Association said on Friday, citing logistics as the biggest challenge to boosting sales to key trading partner China. Mongolia set the same export target last year but exceeded it, with actual imports totaling 69.6 million tons.


Mar 08 - South Korea’s MFG bought some 66,000 T corn in private deal, traders say
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group (MFG) purchased an estimated 66,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in a private deal on Wednesday without issuing an international tender, European traders said on Thursday. It was expected to be sourced from South America or South Africa and followed another corn purchase on Wednesday by South Korean importer NOFI.

Mar 08 - US soybean exports under scrutiny amid worst sales run in years - Braun
Europe is on track to end the winter with a record volume of gas in storage, which has pushed futures prices back to pre-crisis levels once inflation is taken into account. The supply picture has been transformed from two years ago, when traders and policymakers were worried about possible gas shortages following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Mar 07 - China Jan-Feb coal imports rise 23% y/y to highest level for the period
China's coal imports in the first two months of 2024 rose 23% from the corresponding period a year earlier, data showed on Thursday, rising to the highest level for the period. Imports in January and February were 74.52 million metric tons, up from 60.63 million tons in the first two months of 2023, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Mar 07 - China Jan-Feb iron ore imports jump on pre-holiday restocking, higher shipments
China's iron ore imports in the first two months of 2024 climbed 8.1% from the previous year as steelmakers restocked to meet production needs during and after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. The world's largest iron ore consumer brought in 209.45 million metric tons of the key steelmaking ingredient - a record high for the two-month period, customs data showed on Thursday.


Mar 06 - NITRO SHIPPING Freight Report For Blacksea Grains

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: The Azov sea freight market finally stabilized after 2 months of non-stop falling. There is a disbalance between 3/5'k parcels though. 3'k vessels are in higher demand and thus fixed at high 30's usd pmt fiost ex Rostov / Azov to Marmara. At the same time there are a number of 5-7'k vessels at Kerch waiting for the right cargo and are more flexible in freight rate discussion. 5'k parcels of wheat (46") or wheat bran pellets (abt 54") can be fixed at mid 30's usd pmt fiost ex Rostov to Marmara. Ice campaign finished at Azov sea, but ice dues at Rostov are still collected till the 15th of March.

FAR EAST: The market is consistently experiencing low levels.

CASPIAN SEA: This week, the market is reflecting the last week's levels with minimal cargo still available. Buyers are hesitant to enter into new contracts ahead of the upcoming holidays in Iran. With the canal situation improving, ice support for ships has been discontinued, which is expected to positively impact voyage durations.

BALTIC SEA: The market dropped a bit over a week.


Mar 06 - Weekly Container Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index

 

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) fell 1% to $4,754/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) fell 1% to $6,652/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) fell 1% to $4,501/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) fell 5% to $4,972/FEU.

- Many of the world’s top ocean freight stakeholders are gathered in Long Beach this week for the annual TPM conference, which this year takes place under the shadow of continued Red Sea disruptions. The conference commenced alongside news of another container ship hit by a missile strike, and new developments in the saga, including the first sunk vessel, and Houthi demands that ships obtain a permit from the rebel group in order to transit Yemeni waters.
The former CIA chief, Robert Gates, speculated that the Houthis may keep up their attacks even if an Israel - Hamas ceasefire develops, while overall the tone has been of an industry adjusting to a new normal.
- In terms of freight rates, consensus from shippers here seems to be that the January and February surcharges and rate increases were exaggerated but were also – for the most part – accepted, as there was so much uncertainty during the first weeks of the diversions, so much work to be done by the carriers to make adjustments, and additional urgency as diversions hit just weeks before Lunar New Year.
- But ocean freight is now entering its slow season, and carriers by now have also had time to make adjustments. So shippers also agree – especially given that rate increases far exceed most estimates of additional costs faced by carriers – that now rates need to come down from recent highs.

- Freight rates on the major routes were stable overall last week, but, indeed, with the immediate post-Lunar New Year period and any holiday backlog behind us, rates so far this week look set to continue to fall on the Asia - N. Europe and Mediterranean lanes, and prices from Asia to N. America have begun to decline meaningfully as well.
Though some carriers have announced April GRIs and surcharges on some secondary lanes,  the knock-on effects on non-Red Sea lanes look to be waning too as prices on the transatlantic fell 8% last week to about $1,700/FEU.
- The threat of a potential ILA port worker strike at East Coast and Gulf ports in October is also a topic of concern at this year’s TPM. And though most observers are optimistic that the dispute will be resolved without a labor disruption, some shift of volumes to the West Coast or pull forward of some peak season containers to Q3 are also possibilities.

Mar 06 - Weekly Container Air rates - Freightos Air index
- China - N. America weekly prices increased 4% to $4.99/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 20% to $2.2/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices fell 1% to $2/kg.

In air cargo, some hubs did register increases in volumes as a result of Red Sea disruptions and LNY pushing some shipments to air in February.  But rate level increases were not extreme even at this likely peak of increased demand, and prices overall have been easing in late February and into March.

 

In terms of air cargo labor, repeated strikes by ver.di union cargo handlers have disrupted Lufthansa’s operations in Germany recently.  As a result, Lufthansa has agreed to further negotiations soon.


Mar 06 - Ukrainian Weekly SPIKE_FREIGHT report.

Sold freight
- railway logistics (grain):
· Vinnytsia region. - Yuzhny, Ukraine @850 UAH
· Kyiv region. - South, Ukraine @1'000 UAH
- railway logistics (eurohopper):
· Chop, Ukraine - Mon. Italy (birch-grass) @47€

- In February, total exports of agricultural products by road amounted to 375 thousand tons, including 153 thousand tons of grain, oil and processed products. Export shipments through border posts with Poland account for only 25% of total car exports. The flow of goods through checkpoints with Poland remains in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 tons per day. Most automobile exports were located between other checkpoints in Ukraine and Europe. Rates of freight in Europe have not changed compared to last week's figures. At that time, the cost of domestic transportation in Ukraine decreased by 10%.

- In February, the total export of grain, oil and processed products by rail amounted to 733 thousand tons, compared to 685 thousand tons in January. Operators of European cars have reduced freight rates for Europe for the period March-June to 40% relative to autumn 2023. So, in the direction of Italy it is already possible to transport grain at the rate of 45-47€ per ton, which is a decrease compared to the rate of 55-60€ per ton last spring 2023.
The main trading activity in Europe is focused on the period from June to December this year, which creates additional pressure on off-season rates due to the lack of those wishing to transport during this period.
The share of agricultural exports in European wagons is growing, while Ukrainian wagons are more used for domestic transportation, including shipping to "dry ports" on the border with Europe.
Significantly reduced the number of wagons moving towards seaports. The average number of carriages moving towards the Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea decreased by almost 20%, from 7,140 to 5,800 carriages. Rates of freight domestic rail transportation in Ukraine continue to decline to the off-season low.

- Ukraine has achieved an absolute record in water transport shipments since March 2022! In February, total exports by water amounted to 6.4 million tons. Of these, 5.2 million tons were exported through seaports, and 1.2 million tons through river ports.
It is expected to reduce the pace of shipment through ports in March. The reduction of residues and the reduction of the rate of rail transport in the direction of ports is the main reason for this. Marine freight rates have dropped to $3 per ton depending on the direction.


Mar 06 - Algeria buys milling wheat in tender, traders say
Algerian state grains agency OAIC has bought milling wheat in an international tender which closed on Tuesday, European traders said in initial assessments. Initial purchases reported were around $227.75 to $228 a metric ton, cost and freight (c&f) included, they said. Some traders put the lower end of the range at $227 a ton.

Mar 06 - Indonesia's 2024 wheat imports seen rising by 5%, industry official says
Indonesia is likely to import larger volumes of wheat in 2024 compared to 10.87 million metric tons shipped last year, driven by higher demand for flour and animal feed, a senior industry official said on Tuesday. "There will be growth in consumption for flour and feed with assumption of normal conditions," Franciscus Welirang, Chairman of Indonesian Flour Producers Association, told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Jakarta.


Mar 05 - Ukraine slows grain exports in March
Ukraine's grain exports so far in March have decreased to 270,000 metric tons from 641,000 tons in the same period a year earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday. In February, Ukraine exported 5.8 million tons of various grains, 11.5% more than a year ago. The ministry gave no explanation for the increase.

Mar 05 - Algeria tenders to buy nominal 50,000 T soft milling wheat, traders say
Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to buy soft milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Sunday. The tender sought a nominal 50,000 metric tons but Algeria often buys considerably more in its tenders than the nominal volume sought.


Mar 04 - Only grain ships from Black Sea and for Iran still crossing Red Sea, analysts say
Grain ships originating from the Black Sea or bound for Iran are about the only ones still sailing through the Red Sea as Houthi militants continue to attack vessels in the area, analysts said on Friday.  The attacks by the Iran-aligned Houthis have disrupted global shipping since November and forced firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa.

Mar 04 - China buys more than 20 cargoes of foreign grain, Bloomberg reports
China snapped up more than 20 cargoes of feed grain on the international market in the past two weeks, Bloomberg News reported on Monday. The country secured shipments of corn, sorghum and barley from suppliers including Ukraine and the United States, the report said, citing people familiar with the transactions. The purchases amount to more than 1.2 million tons of grain on the basis of each cargo being 60,000 tons, Bloomberg said.

Mar 01 - U.S. Grain Council's Ocean Freight Comments

- Attacks on maritime vessels using the Red Sea are on-going, though to a lesser degree now that owners and operators of container, bulk and other vessel types are bypassing the Red Sea. The vessel owners and operators are choosing the longer and more expensive route around the Cape of Good Hope, while shippers are evaluating sourcing options. Vessel owners are warning that the Houthis attacks will likely extend into the second half of 2024. The Houthis indicate they will cease their attacks once attacks in Gaza end and humanitarian aid can freely be administered. Meanwhile, the United States and United Kingdom navies continue to counterattack Houthis.

- Water levels in Panama’s Gatun Lake were nearly unchanged for the week at 80.8 feet as of February 29, 2024. The water stored in Gatun Lake is used to assist vessels through the canal zone lock system, and for municipal water requirements. By the end of April, the water level is expected to fall more than one foot to 79.6 feet.
The number of daily vessel transits through the Panama Canal is unchanged and limited to 24, down from the normal 36. The vessel draft is also unchanged with the Neopanamax locks at 44 feet, down from 50 feet. Vessel draft at the Panamax locks has not been impacted, standing at 39.5 feet. The freshwater surcharge is now 2.54%, up from last week’s 2.42%. For reference purposes, a water level of 79.5 feet equates to a freshwater surcharge of 4.11% and does not change draft requirements through the Neopanamax locks or the Panamax locks. In April the Panama Canal is expected to give an update on the number of transits and draft restrictions.

- With the Chinese New Year celebrations in the rearview mirror, attention is given to the strength of the Chinese economy. Rumblings of improved iron ore shipments for China are emerging and that has been supportive to the Baltic Dry Index. The Baltic Dry Index jumped nearly 22% or 365 points to an index of 2,041 this week, making gains nine consecutive days, and a level last seen in early January this year. The Capesize market was the star of the index gaining more than 41% for the week or 1,053 points to an index of 3,596. Demand for iron ore is giving optimism to the Capesize sector. The Panamax sector, however, lost 46 points or nearly 3% this week to an index of 1,627. The Supramax market is maintaining a firmer tone, up 12% on the week to 1,239.

- Dry bulk voyage rates were mixed on the key grain routes this week, with most routes lower. Out of the U.S. Gulf to Japan the rate was 3% lower to $58.51 per metric ton for a 55,000 metric ton shipment, while out of the Pacific Northwest the rate was up nearly 3% to $28.43 per metric ton. The spread between these key routes narrowed nearly 8% or about $2.60 per metric ton to $30.08 per metric ton.

- Confidence in the Forward Freight Agreements (FFAs) for Panamax and Supramax vessels for March and April sailings is ensuing with strengthening daily values. Panamax timecharters for March were up $1,000 per day for the week to $16,200, and for April ended the week at $18,200 per day, gaining $1,800 per day for the week, the highest level since FFAs first started being posted for April. The Supramax FFA for April gained $850 per day for the week to $16,800 per day.


Mar 01 - ICE March raw sugar delivery seen at 1.3 mln tns, say traders
Deliveries of raw sugar on the expiry of the March contract on ICE exchange were seen at 25,751 lots, or around 1.3 million metric tons, according to preliminary information from two traders on Thursday. Asian commodities trader Wilmar International was said to be the largest deliverer of the sugar with 22,562 lots, or 1.14 million tons. French trader Sucden was said to be the main receiver with 17,692 lots, or around 900,000 tons, the traders said.

Mar 01 - India's basmati rice exports to fall as Pakistan's surge
India's basmati rice exports are likely to fall in 2024 after nearing a record high last year, as rival Pakistan is offering the grain at competitive prices amid a rebound in production, industry officials said. India and Pakistan are the leading exporters of the premium long-grain variety of rice, famous for its aroma, to countries such as Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.


Feb 29 - Ukraine's February grain exports up 12%, says ministry
Ukraine's grain exports so far in February have exceeded the last year's level by almost 12%, reaching 5.3 million metric tons, agriculture ministry data showed on Wednesday. Ukraine exported 4.7 million tons of various grains over the Feb. 1-27 period last year.

Feb 29 - Jordan buys about 60,000 T feed barley in tender, traders say
Jordan's state grain buyer has purchased about 60,000 metric tons of animal feed barley expected to be sourced from Russia in an international tender on Wednesday seeking up to 120,000 tons, European traders said. It was bought at an estimated $219.50 per ton c&f for shipment in the second half of May. The seller was believed to be trading house Grainflower.


Feb 28 - NITRO Shipping Freight Report for Grains

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA:The market for the Azov Sea has seen a significant drop in recent weeks, with many vessels seeking cargo. Owners are trying to maintain rates, but charterers are pushing them down. This has led to very attractive freight rates for prompt dates. Freight levels this week are below usd 40 pmt fiost ex Rostov to Marmara bss 5'k wbp (54") and expected to go down further. Traders are struggling to generate interest from buyers, who continue to lower their prices.

FAR EAST: The market is still in the process of recovering from the holidays, and we are still observing a lack of activity in the region.

CASPIAN SEA: Despite a noticeable decrease in cargo volume, the decline in freight has slowed this week. The situation in the AMR channel has also improved, with ships now passing through with minimal delays.

BALTIC SEA: The Baltic sea market remains stable.

 

Feb 28 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) fell 2% to $4,809/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) fell 1% to $6,709/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) fell 1% to $4,553/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) fell 10% to $5,224/FEU.

- Despite assessments that US and UK strikes have significantly degraded Houthi capabilities, Red Sea attacks – including a missile strike on a bulk carrier that resulted in an oil spill – have continued. US and UK strikes on Houthi positions continued last week as well, and the US Federal Maritime Commission is considering implementing maritime sanctions on Yemen as an additional measure. For vessels still transiting the Red Sea, insurance premiums continue to rise.
Ocean rates were stable overall last week over the tail end of the Lunar New Year holiday period, and the Red Sea diversions are keeping prices elevated though they have begun to come down from their peaks.

- Asia - N. Europe rates of $4,553/FEU are down 17% from their mid-January high, and Asia - Mediterranean prices of $5,224/FEU are 23% lower than a month ago. Rates from Asia to N. America have also started to ease slightly. Though post-LNY backlogs may be keeping rates at these elevated levels for now, prices are likely to decline from the current levels as ocean freight enters its slow season in the coming weeks.

- And while rates should still remain above normal levels as long as diversions continue and carriers pass on higher costs, the European Shipping Council estimates that ocean rates and surcharges for Red Sea diversions are far outstripping these increased costs faced by carriers. This assessment, together with pessimistic outlooks for European ocean volumes this year, also points to the likelihood of ocean prices coming down from current levels.


- The diversions’ impact on capacity, equipment availability and ocean prices for non-Red Sea lanes may have reached its peak as well. Transatlantic rates have increased 54% since mid-December to $1,862/FEU last week. But carriers may not be expecting diversions and market conditions to allow rates to climb much more, as some are postponing additional planned surcharges.

Feb 28 - Air rates - Freightos Air index

- China - N. America weekly prices increased 32% to $4.8/kg
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 8% to $2.74/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices fell 1% to $2.02/kg.

In air cargo, though rates out of Asia and the Middle East were level or easing on most lanes last week, Freightos Air Index data shows China - N. America prices rebounded to $4.80/kg, about its level in mid- January. This climb may reflect some increase in demand from shipments that did not get moved before Lunar New Year.


Feb 28 - Ukraine Agri SPIKE_FREIGHT weekly report

Sold freight
- railway logistics (grain):
· Lviv region. - Chornomorsk, Ukraine @ UAH1,300
· Lviv region. - Chop, Ukraine @ UAH 700
- railway logistics (eurohopper):
· Chop - Mon. Italy @ 47€ (March-May)

- As of 26.02, agricultural exports amounted to 342 thousand tons by road, compared to 244 thousand tons in January and 343 thousand tons in December for the same period. The main export share was sunflower oil (47 thousand tons) and sugar (41 thousand tons).
There has been a change of routes and trade flows in connection with the strikes on the border with Poland. Thus, grain, oilseeds and legumes from Ukraine are reoriented along the border with Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. The flow of goods through checkpoints with Poland ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 tons per day with its capacity to process up to 10 thousand tons. Other checkpoints on the borders with Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova are doing without obstacles.
Freight rates in the direction of Eastern Europe decreased due to an increase in the supply of vehicles for transportation, which is caused by a decrease in road transport across the border with Poland.
The cost of road transport in Ukraine is kept by the levels last week.

- Daily rates of export shipments by rail across the western borders of Ukraine in February decreased to 374 wagons per day. Not flexible European carriers are trapped in the conjuncture of the commodity market in Europe. Car operators in Europe expect a relative increase in active transportation of Ukrainian grain in the off-season. At the same time, processors and end consumers in Europe have 100% coverage of their needs for the coming months, including May.
Freight rates to Northern Italy from Chop in the March-May period tend to fall to 40-45€ per ton, compared to rates of 55-60€ per ton last year on this route.
Currently, contracts for the period July-December are being actively discussed, related to the desire of sellers of grain to fix the sales and low cost of logistics.
The shipment rate in the direction of seaports is kept at a stable level. The average number of carriages moving towards the Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea increased from 7,140 to 7,273 carriages. The average daily discharge capacity of wagons in the ports of Bolshaya Odessa is kept in the range from 1000 to 1540 wagons per day.
Rates of freight domestic rail transportation in Ukraine decreased to the off-season low. Depending on the rate of export by sea ports, the rates of railway freight in Ukraine can range from 100 to 200 UAH per ton.

- The pace of shipment by sea transport is restored to the level of indicators before the war.
Rates of sea and river freight remained unchanged compared to last week.


Feb 28 - Vietnam imports husked brown rice from India for re-exports, sources say
Vietnam has imported husked brown rice from India for the first time in decades to process the grain and export the refined, white variety, trade and government sources said, as Hanoi tries to cash in on strong global demand for the staple. Vietnam, the world's third biggest rice exporter, has imported at least 200,000 metric tons of husked brown rice from India between December and February, the sources said.

Feb 28 - China purchased Ukrainian corn in the past week, traders say
Chinese importers are believed to have purchased a substantial volume of animal feed corn from Ukraine in the past week, European traders said on Tuesday. The precise volume was unclear. Some traders estimated at least 240,00 metric tons were bought in four 60,000 ton shipments, but with market talk that more than 10 shipments were purchased all for March/May loading.


Feb 27 - Russian wheat export prices drop to lowest since 2020, analysts say
Russian wheat export prices continued to fall last week, hitting their lowest since late 2020, but analysts still believe they need to be lower to be competitive. The price of 12.5% protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery between late March and early April was $215 a metric ton, down $4 from the previous week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy reported.

Feb 27 - Ukraine's February grain exports at 4.7 mln T so far, says ministry
Ukraine has exported almost 4.7 million metric tons of grain so far this month, almost the same volume as in the same period a year earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday. Ukraine's grain exports in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season have so far fallen to about 28.6 million tons from 31.8 million a year earlier, the data showed.


Feb 26 - Brazil to export soybeans to the US, shipping data shows
At least three U.S.-bound cargo ships are preparing to load with soybeans at two ports in Northern Brazil in the first such bulk shipments since last summer, according to shipping lineup data seen by Reuters. The unusual shipments from Brazil, the top global soy supplier, to the United States, the No. 2 exporter, are expected to arrive by early spring, several weeks earlier than past Brazil-to-U.S. shipments as current prices for importing beans from the South American nation are considerably lower, analysts said.
 

 

Feb 26 - Activities resume after fire at Brazil's Paranagua port (AgriCensus)
- A fire interrupted activities in the eastern corridor of the Paranaguá port in Brazil Friday afternoon, but the operational impact was limited, with all berths resuming activities Saturday afternoon, the port authority said.
“Operations in the export corridor were resumed at 1300 Saturday (February 24), with export operations in berths 212 and 213 and one import operation on berth 214,” the port authority Portos do Parana said in a note.

- Although port activities in the eastern corridor resumed on Saturday, Portos do Parana said maintenance works on the equipment that was affected by the fire were ongoing during the weekend “aiming at fully reestablishing operations in the coming days.”

 The fire started in a conveyor belt and led to the suspension of docking activities and the unmooring of two vessels in the three berths that form the eastern corridor on Friday. Portos do Parana told AgriCensus Monday the fire did not cause any delays in shipping schedules and that even the two vessels unmoored Friday were immediately docked on other berths to resume loading activities.

- The port of Paranagua handled 14.3 million mt of soybeans and 4.2 million mt of corn in 2023, 14% and 8% of Brazil’s total exports, respectively. According to line-up data from shipping company Cargonave, 23 vessels are scheduled to depart from the eastern corridor during the coming two weeks loaded with 834,712 mt of beans, 245,170 mt of soymeal and 67,000 mt of wheat. Export logistics in Brazil are not particularly strained at the moment with low waiting times at ports and subdued demand for land freight in the interior market as farmers have been somewhat reluctant to sell soybeans since the beginning of the harvest.

Such outlook and the quick partial resumption of activities in the eastern corridor contributed to the limited impact of the incident on the throughput of agricultural exports.


Feb 23 - Weekly Ocean Freight Comments ( U.S. Grains )


- There remains no let up with the Houthis attacking vessels using the Red Sea and have gone so far to announce that vessels wholly or partially owned or flagged by the United States, United Kingdom and Israel are banned. In addition to airstrikes and attacks from the sea, the Houthis are now attacking from below the sea with submarines on vessels.
That 12% of global maritime traffic has historically used the Red Sea to access the Suez Canal to connect Asia with the Middle East, Europe and North America, and vessel routes are being disrupted. Such disruptions lead to using alternative routes such as around the Cape of Good Hope that nearly doubles the journey between origin and destination markets. As a result of the longer journey, costs and freight rates increase. And such higher costs mean shippers are considering other trade flows or pass on the higher costs to the market. The situation through the Red Sea is expected to drag on indefinitely.
- Meanwhile the Gatun Lake in Panama continues to see water levels fall further, standing at 80.9 feet as of February 22, 2024, down from 81.0 feet one week ago. Gatun Lake is used as a reservoir to hold water that is used to flush vessels through the series of locks of the canal zone, and for municipal water requirements. Water levels are not expected to rise anytime soon since this is the dry season that extends through May. The Panama Canal Authority is projecting water levels to fall to 79.5 feet by the second half of April. Since the current low water event started during mid-2023, the lowest water level was 79.2 feet in July 2023.
- The number of daily vessel transits is limited to 24, down from the normal 36, while the draft at the Neopanamax locks is 44 feet, down from 50 feet, and the freshwater surcharge is now 2.42%, up from last week’s 2.31%. For reference purposes, a water level of 79.5 feet equates to a freshwater surcharge of 4.26% and does not change draft requirements through the Neopanamax locks or the Panamax locks.
- Issues through the Red Sea and at the Panama Canal, and improved iron ore shipments are impacting ocean freight rates. The Baltic Dry Index climbed 94 points or 5.9% to an index of 1,676 this week, a level last seen in early January this year. The Panamax sector gained 91 points or 5.8% for the week to 1,673. The Supramax market jumped nearly 10% on the week to 1,154.
Dry bulk voyage rates on most grain routes were firmer this week. Out of the U.S. Gulf to Japan the rate was nearly 1% lower to $60.30 per metric ton for a 55,000 metric ton shipment, while out of the Pacific Northwest the rate was up more than 7% to $27.64 per metric ton. The spread between these key routes narrowed nearly 7% to $32.66 per metric ton.
- Despite the strength in the nearby voyage markets, the Forward Freight Agreements (FFAs) for Panamax and Supramax vessels for March and April sailings have eased, potentially leading to lower voyage or freight rates on the horizon. Panamax timecharters for March were down $900 per day for the week to $15,200, and for April they settled at $16,000 per day, falling $700 for the week.


Feb 23 - US reports rare daily export sale of sorghum to China
Chinese importers bought 126,000 metric tons of U.S. sorghum in the first purchase of this size in more than three years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a daily sales announcement on Thursday. China is the top export market for U.S. sorghum, which can be used to feed livestock, produce ethanol or make baiju liquor.

Feb 23 - Japan buys 115,921 metric tons of food wheat via tender
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 115,921 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the U.S., Canada and Australia in a regular tender that closed on Thursday. Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of its second-most important staple after rice, buying a majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.

Feb 22 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) increased 1% to $4,889/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) climbed 3% to $6,764/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) fell 2% to $4,587/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) increased 1% to $5,802/FEU.

- A discernible lull in the frequency and effectiveness of attacks on Red Sea traffic in the last couple weeks had some hopeful that US-led steps to degrade Houthi capabilities were succeeding. This week’s renewed aggression on commercial vessels though, including one that led, for the first time, to an abandoned ship, may suggest that there is still a long way to go.
- Ocean carriers are for the most part maintaining their adjusted schedules for departures and arrivals on lanes with now longer journeys by both increasing sailing speeds and adding more vessels to these services.  With these strategies in place, carriers are reducing delays and have succeeded at avoiding congestion at major European and N. American import hubs.
- With this overall success, not all shippers are coming out unscathed. The focus on maintaining the integrity of the major Far East to Europe and N. America trade lanes – especially during the lead up to Lunar New Year – may have contributed to the more significant disruptions seen recently at some Indian ports. Some carriers are also reducing vessel turnaround times by unloading - Mediterranean-bound containers in Europe causing additional lead time for Mediterranean shippers, and intra-Middle East trade is now reliant on feeder vessels as well.  
Other knock-on effects may include reduced equipment and capacity leading to sharp rate increases on non-Red Sea lanes, like the transatlantic, where ocean rates have climbed 44% to nearly $1,800/FEU since the start of February.
- The longer transits have absorbed much of the excess capacity that characterized the container market before the Red Sea disruptions. But as demand will likely ease in the coming, post-LNY weeks, and rates have leveled off to N. America and are decreasing to Europe, there are reports that carriers could start reducing capacity through blanked sailing to try and protect some of the January rate gains.

Feb 22 - Air rates - Freightos Air index

- China - N. America weekly prices decreased 7% to $3.65/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 15% to $2.97/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices increased 1% to $2.05/kg.

- Red Sea disruptions to ocean logistics have not led to widespread surges in air cargo volumes or rates out of Asia, with the global Freightos Air Index benchmark 5% lower than at the start of the month. Nonetheless, there have been reports of congestion due to a surge in volumes at specific air cargo or sea-air hubs, like Dubai and Bangkok which had to temporarily stop accepting cargo last week. These conditions are likely to become less common though as ocean freight stabilizes and LNY demand subsides too


Feb 22 - Ukraine exports 600,000 T grain via Romania Feb 1-15, Kyiv says
Ukraine shipped 600,000 metric tons of grain via Romania to Europe in the first half of February, its agriculture ministry said on Wednesday, keeping the same pace of grain transit through Romania as in January. Romanian sea ports have become the main route for Ukrainian food exports after Russia blocked key ports on the Ukrainian coast of the Black Sea. Ukraine also supplies food products to southern European countries by rail via Romania.

Feb 22 - Japan to import 3,140 tons feed wheat via tender
Japan will import 3,140 metric tonnes of feed-quality wheat for livestock use via a simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) auction that closed late on Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said. The ministry had sought 60,000 metric tons of feed wheat and 20,000 tons of feed barley to be loaded by Feb. 28 and arrive in Japan by March 21 in the tender.


Feb 21 - Ukraine SPIKE_FREIGHT weekly report

- As of 19.02, agricultural exports by road amounted to 265 thousand tons, compared to 138 thousand tons in January and 246 thousand tons in December for the same period. The largest share of exports was sunflower oil and sugar. Daily rates of automobile exports began to decline due to a series of blockages of checkpoints by Poland. The daily rate of agricultural products passing through the Polish border decreased by 6 times, namely from 6 thousand tons of cargo per day in early February to 1 thousand tons per day by 19.02. The work of other checkpoints on the border with Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova is carried out without obstacles, which partially compensates for a decrease in the rate of crossing the Polish border.
Freight rates for Western and Central Europe rose due to the need for carriers to travel across the border with Poland.

- In February, the average rate of export shipments by rail through the western borders of Ukraine amounted to 381 wagons per day. While maintaining these rates, the total rail export in February is expected at 800 thousand tons. The reduction of railway freight rates in Europe by almost 30% since January gradually restores the interest of exports by rail. The most popular destinations are Northern Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. The slowdown in exports through seaports has affected the decrease in the average number of wagons moving towards Ukrainian ports of the Black Sea. Over the past week, this figure has decreased from 7,749 cars to 7,140 cars. The average daily discharge capacity of wagons in the ports of Bolshaya Odessa ranges from 1,000 to 1,540 wagons per day. Rates of freight domestic rail transportation in Ukraine decreased to the off-season low. Depending on the rate of export by sea ports, the rates of railway freight in Ukraine can range from 100 to 200 UAH per ton.

- As of 15.02, 3.2 million tons were exported by water transport, including 581 thousand tons through the ports of the Danube, 2.6 million tons through sea ports.
Rates of sea and river freight remained unchanged compared to last week.


Feb 21 - Greek ship attacked in Red Sea by Houthis arrives in Aden with cargo
The Greek-flagged bulk cargo vessel Sea Champion arrived in the southern Yemeni port of Aden on Tuesday after being attacked in the Red Sea in what appeared to have been a mistaken missile strike by Houthi militia, shipping and military sources said.  Shipping risks have escalated due to repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab Strait by the Iran-aligned Houthis since November. U.S. and British forces have responded with several strikes on Houthi facilities but have so far failed to halt the attacks.

Feb 21 - Russia says it shipped 200,000 tonnes of free grain to six African countries
Russia's agriculture minister said late on Tuesday that Moscow had completed its initiative of shipping 200,000 metric tonnes of free grain to six African countries, as promised by President Vladimir Putin in July. Russia shipped 50,000 tonnes each to Somalia and the Central African Republic and 25,000 tonnes each to Mali, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe and Eritrea, Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev told Putin during a meeting, according to transcript on the Kremlin's website.


Feb 20 - Russian wheat export prices fell again last week, shipments increased
Russian wheat export prices continued to fall last week amid weakening global prices and some growth in shipments, analysts said. The price of 12.5% protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery late March to early was $219 a metric ton, down $5 from the previous week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy reported.

Feb 20 - Ukraine's Feb grain exports 3.2 mln T so far, ministry says
Ukraine has exported almost 3.2 million metric tons of grain so far this month versus 3.3 million exported over the same period a year earlier, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday. The ministry gave no explanation for the decrease. Ukraine's grain exports in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season have so far fallen to about 27 million tons from 30 million a year earlier, the data showed.


Feb 19 - UK-registered cargo ship reported under attack in Bab al-Mandab Strait, says Ambrey
A UK-registered cargo ship reported being under attack in the Bab al-Mandab Strait off Yemen on Sunday, said British maritime security firm Ambrey, while UK Maritime Trade Operations agency reported crew abandoning a ship off Yemen after an explosion. Ambrey said on Sunday that a Belize-flagged, UK-registered and Lebanese-operated open hatch general cargo ship had reported being under attack in Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Feb 19 - South Korea’s KFA buys 66,000 metric tons corn, traders say
The Korea Feed Association (KFA) in South Korea purchased about 66,000 metric tons of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America or South Africa on Friday, European traders said on Saturday. It was purchased by the KFA’s Busan section from trading house ADM at an estimated $239.49 a ton c&f plus a $1.50 a ton surcharge for additional port unloading.


Feb 16 - Egypt's GASC buys 180,000 MT of wheat in tender
Egypt's state grains buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, said on Thursday it had bought 180,000 metric tons of wheat in a tender.The purchase comprised 120,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat and 60,000 tons of Romanian wheat, it said.

Feb 16 - Japan buys 115,035 metric tons of food wheat via tender
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 115,035 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that closed on Thursday.Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of its second-most important staple after rice, buying a majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.


Feb 15 - UK and Japan slip into recession (Reuters)

- Britain's economy fell into a recession in the second half of 2023, a tough backdrop for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who has promised to boost growth ahead of an election expected later this year. The GDP contracted by a worse-than-expected 0.3% in the three months to December, official data showed.

- Britain is not alone. Japan also slipped into a recession at the end of last year, losing its title as the world's third-biggest economy to Germany and raising doubts about when the central bank would begin to exit its ultra-loose monetary policy. The GDP fell an annualized 0.4% in the October-December period.


Feb 15 - Ukraine exports 1.6 mln T food cargo by sea and river in Feb 1-9, brokers say
About 1.6 million metric tons of Ukrainian agricultural goods had been exported or declared for future exports from Ukraine's Black Sea and Danube ports in the first nine days of February, brokers said on Wednesday. Spike Brokers, which tracks and publishes export statistics, said 116,000 tons were shipped through the Danube ports and 1.5 million tons through Black Sea ports.

Feb 15 - Jordan buys 60,000 metric tons feed barley in tender
Jordan's state grain buyer has purchased about 60,000 metric tons of animal feed barley to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said. It was bought at an estimated $219.00 a ton c&f for shipment in the first half of June. The seller was believed to be trading house Dreyfus.

 

Feb 14 - NITRO SHIPPING FREIGHT REPORT FOR GRAINS

- AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: The Azov sea market has continued to decline further this week. Most owners have more or less "accepted" the trend and are eager to secure their opening positions in advance. Prices for feedstuffs are the main drivers of the falling rates, with wheat bran pellets, for example, dropping almost usd 30-40 pmt since the beginning of the year. Same picture with meals. 3’k wheat has been fixed at usd 47 pmt fiost ex Rostov (bb) to Marmara for prompt dates.There are not many cargoes shown on the market as they are mainly covered within close owners.

- FAR EAST: The New Year's holidays in China have resulted in low business activity in the market.

- CASPIAN SEA: This week, the anticipation for duty has decreased as predicted. With not much cargo available on the market, the overall rates are decreasing. Inclement weather is impacting fleet operations, causing congestion of ships unloading in the Northern ports of Iran and at the AMR. Vessels are experiencing waiting times of about 2-3 days to enter due to icy conditions in the canal.

- BALTIC SEA: The vessel's operations are severely delayed due to the poor weather conditions in the region. Numerous vessels are currently trapped in ice while attempting to reach Ust-Luga and St. Petersburg, and require assistance from icebreakers.


Feb 14 - Ukraine Weekly SPIKE_FREIGHT report

Sold freight
- railway logistics (grain):
· Drabiv - Southern, Ukraine @ UAH 1,050
- railway logistics (eurohopper):
· Chop - Mon. Italy @ 50€ (April-May)

- The export rate of agricultural products by road in February exceeded similar indicators in January and December. As of 12.02, 184,000 tons were exported by road in February, compared to 57,000 tons in January and 154,000 in December for the same period.
The Ministry of Economy began issuing licenses for the export of sunflower to Bulgaria under the simplified procedure. In the road transport market there are requests for the transportation of sunflower in the direction of Bulgaria. Freight rates in this direction are kept in the range of 65-90€ depending on the type of transport and route. Taking into account the reduced export duty rate to Europe up to 1.8%, sunflower sales to Bulgaria can be a good alternative for the Ukrainian manufacturer on the domestic market. In general, the rates of freight by road in the direction of Europe remain unchanged compared to last week.
In the domestic transport market in Ukraine, rates remain unchanged relative to last week. The rapid reduction of railway transportation rates creates a good balancing effect on the domestic transportation market in competition between road and rail transport.

- According to Ukrzaliznytsia, in January 2024, 14.13 million tons of cargo were transported by Ukrainian railways. In January 2024, export traffic of 7.50 million tons of cargo, which is more by +0.88 million tons or by +13.3% compared with December 2023.
In the structure of export traffic for January 2024, grain cargoes ranked first - 3.37 million tons (44.9%), second place - iron and manganese ore - 2.99 million tons (39.9%), third place - ferrous metals - 0.44 million tons (5.9%).

- Freight rates by rail for transportation by Ukraine have been reduced from 3$ to 7$ per ton depending on the direction.

- The European market of carriers continues to adjust rates in all directions, approaching the cost price. The cost of transportation by grain carriers from Chop to the North of Italy is 38-40€ per ton. With such rates, the land export market becomes significantly competitive with respect to the sea. At 09.02 the following volumes were sent and scheduled for export by water transport in February: through the ports of the Danube - 116 thousand tons, through sea ports - 1.5 million tons. Traders slow down export activity because of the continuing decline in commodity prices in the world.

- Freight rates both sea and river transport remained unchanged compared to last week.


Feb 14 - Ukraine on track to export all 2023 grain, says Britain
Ukraine is on track to export all grain from its 2023 harvest despite Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports and infrastructure, according to Britain's foreign office, but the United Nations warns that the Black Sea export situation remains fragile. Ukraine harvested about 80 million tons of grain and oilseeds in 2023, including an exportable surplus of about 50 million tons in the 2023/24 July-June season, the country's government has said.

Feb 14 - Port of Antwerp disrupted by Belgian farmers' protests
Operations at the port of Antwerp, one of Europe's biggest container ports, were seriously impacted on Tuesday as hundreds of farmers on tractors blocked the roads around the port to demand better pay and working conditions, officials said. The protest follows a large number of similar actions by angry farmers in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and beyond, as farmers also demand looser environmental rules and better protection against cheap imports.


Feb 13 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) increased 11% to $4,859/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) climbed 3% to $6,589/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) fell 8% to $4,697/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) fell 7% to $5,758/FEU.

- Pressure on ocean operations continued to ease last week as the pre-Lunar New Year rush came to an end, more empty containers arrived back at export hubs, and schedules stabilize as carriers add vessels to accommodate diverted lanes with longer distances to cover.
- A poll of logistics professionals who attended our recent Red Sea Crisis Update webinar last week found 80% think the worst of the impact on container traffic and rates is behind us, with a third expecting disruption levels and ocean rates to decline in the coming weeks.
Ocean rates from Asia to N. Europe and the Mediterranean both dipped about 7% last week and are 15% lower than their late January peaks as conditions improve and demand decreases. Prices to N. America continued to climb last week, though not as sharply as in January, with daily rates so far this week showing some leveling off.
- Before the Red Sea crisis started, overcapacity from sustained fleet growth had been the big story in ocean freight and the main driver of slumping rates. But diversions away from the Suez Canal have carriers using more ships to adjust to longer transits and keep to their weekly departure schedules, which has absorbed much of that otherwise excess capacity. The need for more active capacity saw the number of idle large ships drop to zero last week, and has even led to a rebound in the charter market.
- Carriers had anticipated that the knock-on effects of shifting capacity to Red Sea lanes would be enough to push rates up on non-Suez trade as well. Transatlantic prices did climb 25% last week to $1,500/FEU, which is significant, but is still below profitable levels for carriers and well short of the $5k/FEU GRIs announced last month by some carriers.
But even with the Red Sea diversions soaking up capacity and N. America demand expected to grow relative to last year and to 2019, overcapacity looms. Maersk estimates that a reopening of the Red Sea in the near term would lead to a sharp decrease in rates as supply would outstrip demand, while, if diversions continue, rates will nonetheless fall gradually throughout the year as new capacity continues to enter the market.
More carriers are resuming Panama Canal transits as conditions there have stabilized and will hopefully improve with the start of the rainy season in May – another factor that should mitigate the Red Sea crisis impact on N. American ocean trade.

Feb 13 - Air rates - Freightos Air index

- China - N. America weekly prices decreased 35% to $3.91/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices increased 13% to $3.51/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices fell 1% to $2.03/kg.

In air cargo, volumes increased in late January on pre-LNY demand as well as some shift to air due to the Red Sea crisis.  An increase in sea-air option demand has pushed Freightos Air Index rates from Dubai to some European hubs up 35% since the start of the year. Improvements in ocean operations and the arrival of LNY though saw China - N. America rates fall sharply last week to less than $4/kg.


Feb 13 - South Korea’s KFA bought 68,000 metric tons corn in private deal
The Korea Feed Association (KFA) in South Korea purchased about 68,000 metric tons of animal feed corn expected to be sourced from South America or South Africa in a private deal on Feb. 8 without issuing an international tender, European traders said. It was believed to have been purchased by the KFA’s Incheon section from trading house Viterra at an estimated $240.99 a ton c&f for arrival in South Korea around June 10.

Feb 13 - Yemen's Houthis strike cargo ship bound for Iran, causing minor damage
Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis fired two missiles on Monday at an Iran-bound cargo ship in the Red Sea, causing minor damage to the vessel but no injuries, U.S. military officials said. The early morning strikes appeared to be the first time the Houthis have targeted an Iran-bound vessel since starting attacks on international shipping in solidarity with Palestinians over the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, shipping sources said.


Feb 12  - More grain ships diverted from Red Sea due to Houthi attacks
More ships carrying grain were diverted from the Suez Canal to sailings around the Cape of Good Hope this week as concern about attacks on vessels in the Red Sea continued, shipping analysts said on Friday. "Another 13 vessels were diverted this week taking the total cargo diverted away from the Red Sea route to around 5.2 million metric tons of grains in about 90 ships since the attacks started late last year," said Ishan Bhanu, lead agricultural commodities analyst at data provider and analyst Kpler.

Feb 12  - Brazil's coffee exports jump 45.4% to January record - Cecafe
Brazil's green coffee exports jumped 45.4% in January compared with a year earlier, industry group Cecafe said on Friday, hitting a record high for the month. Farmers shipped abroad a total of 3.67 million 60-kilo bags of green coffee in January.


Feb 09 - Japan buys 136,321 metric tons of food wheat via tender
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) bought a total of 136,321 metric tons of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada, and Australia in a regular tender that closed on Thursday. Japan, the world's sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on imports of its second-most important staple after rice, buying a majority of the grain for milling via tenders typically issued three times a month.

Feb 09 - Jordan tenders to buy up to 120,000 metric tons wheat
Jordan's state grain buyer has issued an international tender to buy up to 120,000 metric tons of milling wheat which can be sourced from optional origins, European traders said on Wednesday. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is Feb. 13.


Feb 08 - Tunisia buys about 100,000 metric tons durum wheat in tender
Tunisia's state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 100,000 metric tons of durum wheat in an international tender on Wednesday, European traders said. Three 25,000 ton consignments were bought from trading house Casillo at $414.68, $415.49 and $417.42 all a ton cost and freight (c&f) included, traders said.

Feb 08 - Iran's SLAL said to have bought about 50,000 T soymeal in tender
Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL is believed to have purchased about 50,000 metric tons of soymeal expected to be sourced from Brazil in an international tender which closed on Wednesday, European traders said. It was believed to have been bought at about 483 euros ($520.0) a ton c&f. The tender had sought up to 120,000 tons of soymeal.


Feb 08 - NITRO SHIPPING FREIGHT REPORT FOR GRAINS

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: The Azov Sea market continues to weaken this week due to several factors, including the high key interest rate of the Turkish central bank, making trading difficult, and an increase in cargoes from Ukraine reaching the Turkish market. As a result, buyers are lowering prices daily, forcing charterers to also reduce the freight levels they are willing to pay. This decrease in trading activity is not only limited to the Azov Sea, as European markets are also experiencing low activity. Due to the high volatility of the Azov Sea freight market, owners are choosing to wait until closer to opening dates to fix, in the hopes that freight levels may suddenly increase, as seen numerous times in the last year. However, with current trends in place, it is
expected that freight levels will continue to drop further.

CASPIAN SEA: The active excitement in the market this week led to a temporary stop in the fall in freight. Some exporters, in an attempt to send their goods spot, raised rates to $70 from Astrakhan. Winter temperatures continue to affect the Caspian Sea, creating challenging conditions in the AMR channel. Additionally, a sea storm has resulted in delays at the unloading ports.

FAR EAST: There were no changes in the Far East this week.

BALTIC SEA: Baltic sea market is getting weaker.


Feb 07 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) increased 7% to $4,367/FEU
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) increased 4% to $6,373/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) fell 7% to $5,097/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) fell 4% to $6,212/FEU.

- Tensions continue to rise in the Middle East, with ongoing US and UK strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen, continued Houthi attacks on Red Sea traffic, deadly Iran-backed attacks on US sites in the region, and US retaliations in Syria and Iraq.
But With the majority of container carriers already avoiding the Red Sea, these further escalations in geopolitical conflicts are unlikely to have an additional impact on the container market.

- Pressure from pre-Lunar New Year demand for ocean freight is easing, and carriers continue to make progress in adjusting networks and activating excess capacity to adapt to the longer journeys. These factors are leading to improvements in space and equipment availability at Asian export hubs, smooth operations at most major ports and few signs of congestion.

- This easing of demand and operations challenges is likewise leading to less pressure on ocean rates. Asia to N. Europe and Mediterranean prices declined slightly last week to $5,000/FEU and $6,200/FEU respectively. Asia to N. America ocean rates increased 7% to the West Coast last week, past $4K/FEU and 4% to the East Coast to the $6k/FEU level.  

- Though demand may increase somewhat after the holiday lull, rates are likely to decline by late February or early March as ocean freight enters its slow season and carriers will have had time to fully adjust capacity and networks on the diverted lanes.  Prices should be expected to remain higher and transit times longer than normal until Red Sea traffic resumes.

Feb 07 - Air rates - Freightos Air index

- China - N. America weekly prices increased 14% to $6.06/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 1% to $3.12/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices increased 4% to $2.06/kg.

Disruptions to ocean freight has led to some shift to air cargo as reflected in increased air volumes on some lanes recently.  Freightos Air Index data show China - N. America air cargo rates climbed 14% last week to $6.06/kg, and are slightly higher than in early December.  While China - N. Europe prices dipped last week, Middle East – to N. Europe prices are still 20% higher than in mid-January, possibly reflecting some ocean to sea-air shift. Air cargo demand should also ease as LNY begins and Red Sea-driven air demand should subside as well as ocean operations continue to stabilize.


Feb 07 - Ukraine weekly SPIKE_FREIGHT report

Sold freight
- railway logistics (grain):
· Drabiv - Southern, Ukraine @ UAH 1,300
- automotive logistics (dump truck):
· Noviska - Southern, Ukraine @1'740 UAH (sunflower)

- As of 05.02, exports of agricultural products by road in February amounted to 77 thousand tons, compared to 8 thousand tons in January and 63 thousand tons in December for the same period. The restoration of throughput of most border crossings has contributed to an increase in export rates in February.

 

For the period from 01.02 to 05.02, the average daily rate for the passage of export goods by road through all border crossings was 15,400 tons per day, compared to 1,500 tons in January and 12,630 tons in December. A significant share of export shipments came to the border with Poland, where the average daily export by road increased to 5,752 tons of cargo per day.
The rates of freight from western Ukraine towards Italy and Germany decreased relative to last week. The main reason is the increase in imports from these countries to Ukraine.
The rate of shipments in the direction of seaports is slowed down due to lower prices for agricultural products. Road carriers are forced to reduce the cost of transportation to support the economy and the pace of sale by farmers.

- Agroexport by rail across the western borders of Ukraine is kept at the level of last week. Rates of freight in Europe are gradually reduced for the period March-June. Lower sales prices in major markets for central and southern Europe are forcing carriers to revise rates towards reduction. There are requests for forwards in the direction of Europe, subject to fixing the railway freight in Europe. For the effective sale of Ukrainian products of the new crop in the markets of Northern Italy freight rate from Chop should be from 45€ to 50€ per ton.
Railway freight rates across Ukraine also continued a slight decrease compared to last week.

- As of 02.02, the following volumes were shipped and scheduled for export by water transport in February: through the ports of the Danube - 153 thousand tons, through sea ports - 1.4 million tons. Export activity is declining against the backdrop of falling prices and low demand in the main sales markets. The growth of freight on the ships of the class "panamax" in the direction of Asian markets reduces the attractiveness of this direction of sales of Ukrainian products.


Feb 07 - Jordan buys estimated 60,000 metric tons wheat in tender
Jordan's state grains buyer purchased about 60,000 metric tons of hard milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender on Tuesday, European traders said. It was believed to have been bought from trading house CHS all at an estimated $262.95 a ton cost and freight (c&f) included for shipment in the second half of April, they said.

Feb 07 - Tunisia tenders to buy 100,000 metric tons durum wheat
Tunisia's state grains agency has issued an international tender to purchase about 100,000 metric tons of durum wheat, European traders said on Tuesday. The origin was optional. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is Wednesday, Feb. 7.


Feb 06 - China's export of aluminium covered by EU carbon tax down 30% in 2023
The volume of aluminium product exported by China to the European Union which was covered by the bloc's carbon border tariff fell 30% in 2023, the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association (CNIA) said on Monday. The EU launched the first phase of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in October, as it tries to stop more polluting foreign products from undermining its green transition.

Feb 06 - Iran's SLAL tenders for 120,000 T barley and 120,000 T soymeal
Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL has issued international tenders to purchase at least 120,000 metric tons of animal feed barley and 120,000 tons of soymeal, European traders said on Monday. The deadline for submission of price offers is Wednesday, Feb. 7, they said.


Feb 05 - Turkey to discuss 'new mechanism' for Ukraine Black Sea grain exports with Russia - minister
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will discuss a new mechanism to allow Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his upcoming visit to Turkey, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Sunday. Putin is expected to visit Turkey on Feb. 12 to meet Erdogan, a Turkish official previously said, in what will be the Russian leader's first trip to a NATO ally since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Feb 05 - Ukraine's agri exports via alternative Black Sea corridor at 14.3 mln T
Ukraine exported 14.3 million metric tons of agricultural products via its alternative Black Sea corridor in the last six months, Deputy Prime Minister Oleksander Kubrakov said on Saturday. Kubrakov said more than 660 ships had exported more than 20 million metric tonnes of cargo of all types to 32 countries since the corridor was set up in August 2023, after Russia quit a U.N.-backed Black Sea grain initiative.


Feb 03 - Ocean Freight Comments from U.S Wheat Org.

- The dry bulk ocean freight market has been a yo-yo. Much like the toy with a string wrapped around an axis, when released, gravity takes over and as the string reaches its maximum it reverses course and winds itself back up. That has been the pattern with dry bulk ocean freight rates during the first month of 2024. The closely watched Baltic Dry Index for example, started 2024 where it left off with 2023, with gravity pulling it lower. But it seemed it found a bottom and tried to wind back up before losing ground as gravity pulled it lower, ending January down by more than one-third for the month to an index of 1,398. Admittedly, the index is more than double where it was one year ago.

- Despite the terrorist attacks on vessels plying the Red Sea, leading vessel owners and operators to use alternative longer routes such as sailing around the Cape of Good Hope, dry bulk ocean freight rates are responding more to weakened demand. And news out of China is not encouraging with manufacturing marking its fourth monthly contraction while housing is in disarray. China is experiencing deflationary pressures and weakened demand for its products and goods that need to be shipped, ergo, less raw ingredients to manufacture such products. And China will be celebrating its New Year starting February 10 through February 20, historically a slower period for vessel demand, which will further exacerbate the situation


Feb 02 - Dry bulk trade unlikely to see serious impact from Red Sea crisis (AgriCensus)

- The dry bulk freight sector is expected to escape the serious impact of fighting around the internationally important shipping lanes of the Red Sea, freight sources have told Agricensus Friday. The key route has been under siege since the Yemen-based Houthi movement began to target vessels with missiles late last year, causing some significant freight operators and energy majors to review their operations and transit plans for the region.

- Over two dozen vessels have been struck by Houthi missile attacks in the Red Sea since the crisis began, leading to American and British strikes against Yemen and a naval force sailing into the Red Sea. The ongoing crisis has not had a serious impact on the bulk market and sources do not expect it to, despite serious disruption for containers and oil tankers. This is partly because fewer dry bulk cargoes rely on the Suez Canal for transit, and so fewer are likely to be forced to reroute.

- One source suggested that only 4.5% of the global bulk trade annually passes through the canal.
“The whole rerouting could have around an increase of 1% on bulk tonne mile demand”, they said, “compared with containers of around 8% and 5.5% for tankers”.
Suez Canal Authority data for 2019 showed that the bulk sector represented only 13.2% of all tonnage that passed through the canal and 22.5% of all ships for that whole year.

- Furthermore, fewer bulkers that do transit have rerouted.
Daily bulker transits through the Suez Canal fell around 19% from December 24 to January 23, compared to a 55% fall in container transits, according to recent index data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This reflects that a larger proportion of dry bulk shipping may be considered safer as it is not linked to Israeli or American allied countries whom the Houthis have said they will target.  
“Since a large part of the Suez bulker traffic would be Russian cargo ex-Black Sea - which are less affected generally for political reasons - this is another reason why dry bulk is less affected than some of the other segments”, Roar Adland of SSY told Agricensus.

- Sources have also suggested that Ukrainian shipping is unlikely to be diverted.
“I have seen a few vessels refusing to go via Red Sea but majority of Greek and Chinese owners that have been trading bsea [Black Sea] and Baltic continue sailing”, one source said.
Ships traveling in the Black Sea are already working in a war zone and may even be under less threat in the Red Sea where Ukrainian ships have so far not been attacked. Given this, shipowners seem to prefer to push through the Red Sea than to reroute around Africa with much higher costs.  

- Freight indications for vessels traveling from Ukrainian ports to China have changed little in recent weeks, and indeed the Agricensus assessments for this route have fallen to $62.60/mt this week from around $70/mt when the crisis began in December.

- Certain parts of dry bulk have been more adversely affected.
XClusiv Shipbrokers suggested in their weekly note that 3.9 million tons of grain cargo had chosen alternative routes, out of 7.7 million mt annually that uses the Suez Canal. Some analysts had also suggested that it could prove to be a problem for US-based cargoes, where some US Gulff exporters had been using the Suez route to avoid delays at the Panama Canal and still access Asian destination markets. Some sources also said that some French wheat cargoes bound for China had been forced to go around the Cape.

- Less direct effects may also come to impact dry bulk.
The recent market monitor by AMIS noted that shipping costs are influenced by the cost of crude oil, and energy prices could increase due to tankers being forced to reroute or through further escalation in the Middle East.


Feb 02 - Turkey sells 150,000 metric tons durum in export tender - traders
Turkish state grain board TMO is believed to have provisionally sold 150,000 metric tons of durum wheat in an export tender for the same volume on Thursday, European traders said. The highest price was assessed at $404.80 a ton FOB, traders said.

Feb 02 - Taiwan buys 89,650 metric tons US-origin milling wheat
The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association purchased an estimated 89,650 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender on Friday, European traders said. The purchase involved various wheat types for shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast in two consignments.


Feb 01 - NITRO SHIPPING FREIGHT REPORT FOR GRAINS

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: After another week of recession in the commodity market, the Azov Sea freight market is also experiencing a similar trend. Sellers are expressing concern over the significant daily drops in prices in Turkey, making it very difficult to sell. The unstable exchange rate of the Turkish lira is also impacting the market. Ukrainian grains are competing with Russian grains on the Turkish market, further reducing prices. Additionally, market players are encountering payment difficulties between Russia and Turkey, as banks are taking precautionary measures to avoid potential sanctions by blocking transactions to and from Russian companies. Furthermore, the presence of ice in the Azov and Rostov ports is causing some owners to avoid these ports and instead opt for the ice-free port of Yeisk.

CASPIAN SEA: Freight rates to the northern ports of Iran are still dropping, and the heavy ice conditions at the VKMSK exit are making the situation even worse. Exporters are show activity in the business due to the rising prices of corn.

FAR EAST: The region has seen a decline in grain export activity. The market is supported by shipments of coal, container transportation and general cargo.

BALTIC SEA: The Baltic sea region continues to firm up slowly this week.


Feb 01 - Thai rice export volumes seen down 14.4% in 2024 on lower production
Thailand expects to export 7.5 million metric tons of rice in 2024, down 14.38% year-on-year, due to lower production and increased competition, the commerce ministry said. Rice production is expected to drop 5.87% in 2024, impacted by the El Nino weather phenomenon, the ministry said in a statement.

Feb 01 - Iran's SLAL said to have bought about 200,000 T soymeal in tender - traders
Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL is believed to have purchased about 200,000 metric tons of soymeal expected to be sourced from Argentina and Brazil in international tenders which closed on Tuesday, European traders said on Wednesday. No purchase was initially reported of 120,000 tons of feed barley also sought in the tenders.


Jan 31 - Ukraine Agri SPIKE_FREIGHT weekly Report

- As of January 29, exports of agricultural products by road in January amounted to 293 thousand tons, compared to 374 thousand tons in December and 451 thousand tons in November. The main reason for the decrease in export volumes was the low traffic activity between 01 and 15 January and the restoration of throughput at some border crossings.
The average daily rate for passing cars through checkpoints in January was as follows: with Poland: 3180 tons per day, with a total monthly volume of 92 thousand tons; with Romania: 3074 tons and 89 thousand tons; with Slovakia: 631 tons and 18 thousand tons; with Hungary: 1572 tons and 45 thousand tons; with Moldova: 1667 tons per day, with a total monthly volume of 48 thousand tons.

 

The rapid drop in prices for agricultural products has led to an increase in spot shipments by road in the direction of ports, which led to queues lasting up to 7 days of discharge at some terminals of Bolshaya Odessa. The cost of transport by road remained unchanged compared to last week.

- Agroexport by rail through the western borders of Ukraine is gradually increasing. The average daily rate of delivery of cargo increased to 403 wagons per day per month. There is also an increase in the number of EU trains that load and arrange cargo for export in Ukraine through dry ports. The estimated total volume of exports of agricultural products for January by rail through Western borders is expected at 700 thousand tons.
- JSC "Ukrzaliznytsia" founded the company UZ Cargo Poland to provide a range of international transportation services in Romania and Poland.
- In the direction of the ports of Greater Odessa, the average daily number of cars on the road has increased, and now this figure is 8192 cars. The average daily load capacity of wagons in the Black Sea ports increased to 1540 wagons per day.
- In the direction of the port of Izmail, there is an increase in the activity of shipments, which led to an increase in the queue of cars in this direction from 586 cars to 649 cars. The average daily rate of unloading wagons with grain in the port of Izmail is -103 cars per day.
- Railway freight rates in Ukraine continue to decline.
- Rates of rail freight in Europe for the period April-August are discussed at 45-55€ depending on the direction.

- As of 28.01, shipments for export by water transport in January amounted to: 439 thousand tons were shipped through the ports of the Danube, and 62 thousand tons are planned to be shipped in January; 2.5 million tons were shipped by sea ports, and 874 thousand tons are planned to be shipped in January. Depending on the pace of shipment, total exports by water in January are expected to be in the range of 3 and 3.8 million tons, which is significantly lower than the figure of 6.1 million tons in December.
Freight rates by water began to strengthen, and exporters are actively preparing programs for March and April.


Jan 31 - South Korea’s FLC buys about 133,000 metric tons of corn
South Korea's Feed Leaders Committee purchased about 133,000 metric tons of corn to be sourced optionally from the United States, South America or South Africa in an international tender on Tuesday, European traders said. The corn was purchased in two consignments, the purchase was above the nominal tender volume of 69,000 tons.

Jan 31 - South Korean mills buy 86,200 T wheat from the US
A group of South Korean flour mills bought an estimated 86,200 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in an international tender on Tuesday, European traders said. The purchase involved several different wheat types and was all bought on an FOB basis for shipment in April and May.


Jan 30 - Russian wheat export prices continued decline amid high supply in the Black Sea region
Russian wheat export prices continued to decline last week amid oversupply pressure in the Black Sea region, but export volumes have gone up, analysts said. The price of 12.5% protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery in the first half of March was $235 per metric ton, down $3 from the previous week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy reported.

Jan 30 - Ukraine to punish firms for violating farm exports rules to Eastern Europe
Ukraine on Monday said it has tightened rules related to certain food exports, imposing a six-month trading ban for any companies violating the regulations, to ease tensions with bordering countries. The EU suspended import duties, quotas and trade defence measures for imports from Ukraine in June 2022 to support its economy after Russia's invasion.


Jan 29 - Argentina gets China OK for wheat exports for first time
Chinese customs authorities have included Argentine companies in its list of those approved to export wheat to China for the first time, a statement by the Argentine government said on Friday, potentially opening up sales to the huge Asian market. Argentina is a major wheat producer and exporter globally, though its previous harvest was battered by a drought, leaving few stocks for export.

Jan 29 - More grain ships divert from Red Sea this week after attacks
More ships carrying grain were diverted from the Suez Canal to sailings around the Cape of Good Hope this week after attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, shipping analysts said on Friday. “Another 16 vessels were confirmed diverted this week, taking the total grain cargoes diverted to some 3.9 million tons, up from 3.0 million tons last week, said Ishan Bhanu, lead agricultural commodities analyst at data provider and analysts Kpler.


Jan 26 - South Africa's Richards Bay coal exports hit three-decade low
South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal on Thursday said it exported 47.21 million tons of coal in 2023, down 6.2% year-on-year, the lowest level since 1992 as the country's freight rail crisis continues to throttle mineral shipments. Transnet, South Africa's state-owned freight rail and port operator, has struggled to haul bulk commodities including coal due to the shortage of locomotives and spares, as well as cable theft and vandalism of its infrastructure.

Jan 26 - Mexico remains loyal US corn buyer with record haul despite dispute - Braun
The United States has been losing corn export business to Brazil as the South American country continues expanding its output, though top customer Mexico has secured a record volume of U.S. corn for shipment this year. That is despite an active dispute between the United States and Mexico over Mexico’s proposal to curb genetically modified corn imports, which if enforced to the most radical extent could severely dent U.S. corn exports.


Jan 25 - Ukraine's Black Sea grain export success tested by Red Sea crisis - Reuters News
Ukraine has managed to boost its Black Sea grain exports to a level not seen since before Russia's invasion, although the Red Sea shipping crisis poses a new challenge to its crucial agricultural trade. Kyiv's success in replacing a UN-backed Black Sea export deal with its own shipping scheme has brought relief for Ukrainian farmers and importing countries while representing a naval breakthrough for Ukraine's military as a land counteroffensive has stalled.

Jan 25 - South Korea’s NOFI buys estimated 136,000 T corn in tender
Leading South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed Inc. (NOFI) bought an estimated 136,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in an international tender on Wednesday, European traders said. The corn was expected to be sourced optionally from the United States, South America or South Africa.


Jan 25 - NITRO SHIPPING FREIGHT REPORT FOR GRAINS

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: During the past few weeks, the Azov Sea market has experienced significant changes. Currently, there is a prevailing trend of rate firming up this week. Owners claim to see high usd 50's pmt fiost bss ex Rostov to Marmara for usual 3/5'k wheat parcels and feel right to fix at above usd 60 pmt fiost. The market is being influenced by the weakening Turkish lira, and it may take some time for market players to adapt to this. Owners prefer to wait as much as possible these days to fix their vessels as each day might bring difference.

FAR EAST: The market remains relatively unchanged, but severe weather in the region is impacting railway infrastructure and ports. Train and ship schedules are being disrupted, leading to significant delays in shipping times.

CASPIAN SEA: The Caspian market is experiencing significant strain. There is a continued decrease in freight rates due to a decrease in grain shipments from Russian ports. Currently, rates in Astrakhan are in the mid to high 60's. As the situation at the port of Makhachkala improves, rates are declining at a slower pace, with owners requesting rates around usd 60 pmt fiost.

BALTIC SEA: The Baltic Sea market is gradually strengthening as the ice thickens in the eastern and northern parts of the Baltic.


Jan 24 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index Weekly Report

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) increased 15% to $2,966/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) increased 19% to $5,094/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) increased 15% to $5,492/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) increased 25% to $6,773/FEU.

Though US and UK strikes on Houthi positions continue this week, so do Houthi attacks on Red Sea vessels, with President Biden stating that the intensified efforts have not yet succeeded to provide deterrence. As diversions away from the Red Sea continue just two and a half weeks before Lunar New Year, and carriers are still working to adjust their sailing speeds and add extra vessels to accommodate the longer routes, ocean freight disruptions and cost increases may be reaching their peak.

- Empty container shortages in some Asian export hubs are posing a challenge to shippers eager to move goods before the holiday slowdown. Robert Katchatryan, CEO of freight forwarder FreightRight, reports that, last week, equipment shortages were already noticeable in Ningbo, where “alongside specialized equipment, even the regular 40’ and HC containers were becoming limited.”
Other shippers, hoping that rates and disruptions will ease after LNY, are canceling orders and causing problems for exporters. Despite reported disruptions to schedules and some vessel bunching at Asian hubs, congestion does not seem to be a serious problem yet, with most N. American ports already reporting that they’ve closed the gaps in arrivals due to diverted vessels or expect to do so soon.

- Ocean rates increased 15-25% on the major ex-Asia tradelanes last week, with Asia - N. America West Coast prices nearing the $3k/FEU mark, rates to the East Coast and N. Europe surpassing $5k/FEU and prices to the Mediterranean climbing to almost $6,700/FEU. But as West Coast daily rates so far this week are approaching $4k/FEU and East Coast prices are up at the $6k/FEU mark, Asia to N. Europe and Mediterranean daily rates have mostly leveled off.

 

- Congestion, shifts of capacity to Suez Canal lanes, and equipment shortages may not be impacting non-Red Sea lanes as much as carriers had anticipated, as transatlantic rates have yet to climb and some carriers are postponing planned GRIs and surcharges until February.

 

- In another positive development for ocean freight, though total Panama Canal transits for all sectors hit a new low in December as many bulkers and tankers are taking alternate routes, container traffic – prioritized via advance bookings – has been impacted the least, with most services continuing to use the canal.

Jan 24 - Air rates - Freightos Air index Weekly Report

- China - N. America weekly prices decreased 10% to $4.8/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 6% to $3.34/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices increased 5% to $1.94/kg.

- Ocean delays and shortages due to the Red Sea crisis are reportedly starting to shift some ex-Asia ocean volumes to rail and air cargo alternatives. And though Freightos Air Index data shows that air cargo rates from China to N. Europe and N. America have eased since the start of the year, prices from South Asia to N. America which have increased 12% since the start of the year and rates from the Middle East – important for sea-air options – to N. Europe climbed 13% last week, possibly reflecting some ocean to air shift.


Jan 24 - Ukraine Weekly SPIKE_FREIGHT report

Sold freight
- railway logistics (eurohopper):
· Chop - Mon. Italy @ 55€
· Chop - Mon. Germany @ 60€

- Agroexport by road amounted to 184 thousand tons as of 15.01, compared to 292 thousand tons in December and 355 thousand tons in November.
The average daily rate for passing cars through checkpoints with Poland and Romania has recovered to the level of more than 5 thousand tons of agricultural products per day. The checkpoints on the border with Slovakia are gradually rising to the average daily rate of 1.5 thousand tons per day, and with Hungary up to 2.5 thousand tons per day.
Since 01.01, road tolls in Europe have risen in several European countries at once: Poland - rates have risen to 15%; Belgium - The Government of Wallonia has raised rates per kilometer; Germany - an increase in tariffs up to 80% now, taking into account CO2 emissions; Austria - rates have increased to 8%, taking into account CO2 emissions; Hungary - rates have increased to 40%, taking into account CO2 emissions.
We observe a decline in freight from western Ukraine to Bulgaria. The Italian rates remain at the same level with minor changes due to the unpopularity of export destinations and the rising cost of using autobahns.

- Agroexport by rail across the western borders of Ukraine is kept at the level of the average daily rate of delivery of goods in 399 wagons per day. The share of shipments by European trains across the Western borders has increased to 75%. Total export in January by rail through Western borders is expected at 700 thousand tons, while maintaining the current pace of shipment.
In the direction of the ports of Greater Odessa there is an increase in the average daily number of cars on the road. Over the past week, this figure has increased to 7,326 cars. The average daily discharge capacity of wagons in the Black Sea ports ranges from 1,250 to 1,500 wagons per day.
Railway freight rates in Ukraine are gradually decreasing. The low activity of farmers and traders, due to lower world prices for grain and oilseeds, has caused a decrease in the demand for transportation.
There is also a decrease in freight rates in Europe to 20%. The Northern Italy freight was already sold at 55€, and 60€ to German ports. With the expectation of the coming spring is expected to increase the supply of rail cars in Europe.

- Export shipments by water transport remain stable. As of 19.01, 285 thousand tons were exported through the ports of the Danube, and another 170 thousand tons are scheduled for shipment in January. 1.9 million tons have already been shipped through seaports, and 1.7 million tons are planned for January. Depending on the "weather conditions", some of the planned volumes can be postponed to February.
Rates of freight by water transport under pressure and are subject to minor adjustments. Exporters are restrained in requests due to lower sales prices in world markets.
Rates in the direction of China have increased by the cost of insurance against the risks associated with the Red Sea .


Jan 24 - EU to allow wider measures to control Ukraine grain imports
The European Commission is looking into ways of allowing eastern EU member states to restrict farm imports from Ukraine as it extends trade liberalisation with Kyiv for a further year to June 2025. The EU has suspended import duties, quotas and trade defence measures for imports from Ukraine since June 2022 to support its economy after Russia's invasion.

Jan 24 - Fortescue faces rare delays for China iron ore customs clearance
At least two iron ore cargoes from the world's No.4 supplier Fortescue Metals Group are facing unusual customs delays at north China's Caofeidian port due to inspections for solid waste, sources with knowledge of the matter said. The cargoes were in two shipments totalling roughly 400,000 metric tons, the sources said, worth around $55 million, though only the portions earmarked for portside sale by Fortescue after arrival face delay, while volumes already sold were little affected.


Jan 23 - Australian meat exports disrupted by port dispute and Red Sea tensions (IHSmarkit)

- Logistical issues threaten Australia’s ability to take full advantage of gaps on global meat markets
- Ongoing port dispute compounding stresses caused by Red Sea shipping crisis
- Ship carrying live cattle and sheep told to return to Australia due to MidEast security threats

After a strong year for Australian meat and livestock exports, trade is now being hampered by the twin challenges of Red Sea tensions and port disputes within Australia itself.

In 2023, Australian beef exports rose 27% y/y to 1.08 million metric tons, the highest figure since 2019. Exports of both lamb and mutton were the highest ever at 326,014 metric tons and 209,580 metric tons, respectively, according to data from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). MLA Global Supply Analyst Tim Jackson says exports are likely to lift further as Australia benefits from increased export supplies at a time when US beef production is on the decline.

In the short term however, Australian exporters are having to wrestle with challenges posed by ongoing industrial action across Australia’s sea freight terminals.

Port dispute
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) is calling for government action to address the impacts of a dispute between DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).
“This dispute has severely disrupted the ability to trade perishable goods, particularly meat. The inability to get containers moving through ports and the lack of access to shipping slots has hamstrung Australian meat exporters and added unnecessary costs,” said AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson
“This situation is creating disruption up and down the supply chain and compounding other stresses to global shipping, such as the Red Sea shipping crisis, ultimately resulting in significant impacts to the trade operations of Australian meat and smallgoods processors.

A recent AMIC member survey on the impacts of the dispute revealed that exporters need to consistently remove containers from terminals due to over month-long delays at ports, resulting in shelf-life expirations for chilled meat consignments. At the same time, meat processing and exporting businesses are experiencing excess inventory due to being unable to load out product caused by vessel omissions and delays.

AMIC members say this is pushing up the cost of exporting, while noting that a lack of imported inputs is also leading to potential manufacturing shutdowns.
Red Sea tensions

This disruption is adding to problems created by tensions in the Middle East, where the threat of Houthi attacks is causing shipping companies to reroute away from the Suez Canal to the Cape of Good Hope route.

This is pushing up the cost of shipping beef and lamb from Australia to Europe, while also disrupting shipments of live animals to countries in the Middle East.

The MV Bahijah, a vessel carrying livestock of sheep and cattle, was last week ordered to return to Australia after diverting away from the Red Sea due to the worsening security situation.

The Australian Department of Agriculture said it had taken the decision to ensure the health and welfare of the livestock on board.


Jan 23 - Russian wheat export prices and shipments continued decline last week
Russian wheat export prices continued to decline last week following a drop in global markets, while shipments also fell amidst challenging weather conditions, analysts said. The informal restriction of the export price by the Russian Ministry of Agriculture also remains one of the influencing factors, they said.

Jan 23 - China 2023 soybean imports from Brazil rise 29%, US share shrinks
China's soybean imports from Brazil in 2023 jumped 29% from the prior year, customs data showed on Saturday, expanding the South American grower's dominance in the world's largest soybean market and eating into the U.S. market share. Total shipments from Brazil to China were 69.95 million metric tons last year, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed.

Jan 22 - China's 2023 imports of copper concentrate from Australia highest since 2021
China imported 10,104 metric tons of copper ore and concentrate from Australia last month, bringing the 2023 total volumes to the highest since June 2021, customs data showed on Saturday, as Beijing eased an unofficial ban on Australian imports. China has gradually eased tariffs and unofficial bans against a range of Australian commodities since a new government came to power in Canberra in 2022.

Jan 22 - South Korea’s MFG buys 66,000 T corn in tender
South Korea's Major Feedmill Group has purchased an estimated 66,000 metric tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender on Friday, European traders said. The tonnage supplied can be varied according to origin selected, they said


Jan 19 - Wheat shipments via Suez plunge amid Red Sea attacks: WTO
Wheat shipments via the Suez Canal fell by almost 40% in the first half of January to 0.5 million metric tons due to attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the World Trade Organization said on Thursday on social media platform X. The WTO data, based on a dashboard developed jointly by the International Grains Council and the World Trade Organization, adds to signs of ship diversions following attacks on vessels by Iran-aligned Houthi militants in Yemen.

Jan 19 - Ukraine's maritime grain exports to fall 20% m/m in January
Ukrainian maritime grain exports are expected to fall by around 20% in January from the previous month due to the crisis in the Red Sea and the New Year holidays, a senior Ukrainian government official said on Thursday. "Looks like it could be around minus 20%. But in any case it would be a very substantial volume," the source told Reuters, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.


Jan 18 - Red Sea attacks unlikely to hit French cereals exports to Asia for now - FranceAgriMer
Attacks on ships in the Red Sea are unlikely for now to affect exports of French cereals to Asia, notably China which is a key market for France, since they are targeted at ships going towards Israel, farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday. The Iran-allied Houthi militia have been attacking commercial ships in the region since November in an escalation of Israel's war with Palestinian Hamas militants in Gaza.

Jan 18 - Jordan buys about 120,000 metric tons wheat in tender
Jordan's state grains buyer purchased about 120,000 metric tons of hard milling wheat to be sourced from optional origins in an international tender on Wednesday, traders said. It was believed to have been bought from trading house Ameropa all at an estimated $269.00 a ton cost and freight in two 60,000 ton consignments, one for shipment in the second half of March and the other in the first half of April, they said.


Jan 17 - NITRO SHIPPING FREIGHT REPORT FOR GRAINS

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: This week, the market for the Azov Sea has experienced a decrease. Owners have noticed a significant decline in business activity from grain
traders in comparison to the previous week. The drop in the Turkish lira exchange rate and the strengthening of the Russian ruble are cited as key contributing factors. Traders are reporting that buyers are simply not paying, resulting in fewer new fixtures being concluded. Consequently, owners with open spot positions are prepared to negotiate very competitive freight levels in order to secure business. Meanwhile, charterers are attempting to pressure owners into accepting lower rates for future cargoes.

FAR EAST
: There are no major changes in the market. There are still few export shipments and a lot of free fleet.

CASPIAN SEA: The market is still on a slow downward trend. Iranian purchasers are in no rush to finalize new agreements. Grain prices are decreasing and there are
unfavorable shifts in the currency exchange rate, leading to a negative effect on freight costs.

BALTIC SEA
: The Baltic Sea market strengthened over the course of a week following the holidays.


Jan 17 - Algeria buys about 600,000 T milling wheat in tender
Algeria’s state grains agency OAIC has bought about 600,000 metric tons of milling wheat in an international tender that closed on Tuesday, European traders said in initial assessments. This was around the high end of first estimates of between 500,000 and 650,000 tons.

Jan 17 - Houthi attack on dry bulk ship to boost grain diversions
An attack on a dry bulk carrier this week in the Red Sea region is set to lead to more diversions of grain cargoes around the Cape of Good Hope but most are still willing to risk using the Suez Canal for now, shipping sources said on Tuesday. Houthi forces in Yemen struck the U.S.-owned and operated dry bulk ship Gibraltar Eagle with an anti-ship ballistic missile, U.S Central Command said on Monday, although there were no reports of injuries or significant damage.


Jan 16 - EU's eastern members demand import duties on Ukraine grains
The European Union's eastern states are demanding the EU impose import duties on Ukraine grains, citing unfair competition, Hungary's agricultural ministry said on Monday. The ministry said the farm ministers from Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia had sent a letter to the European Commission requesting the measures, saying cheaper agricultural products from Ukraine are eating into their export markets.

Jan 16 - Brazil's coffee exports nearly flat in 2023 - industry group
Brazil's green coffee exports ended 2023 nearly flat from the previous year, as vigorous growth in shipments of the robusta variety and China's increasing appetite for the beverage partially offset logistical hurdles, exporters association Cecafe said on Monday. Farmers exported a total of 35.53 million 60-kg bags of green coffee last year, 0.3% below the figure from 2022, Cecafe said.


Jan 15 - Container rates soar on concerns of prolonged Red Sea disruption, inflation
Container shipping rates for key global trade routes have soared this week, with U.S. and UK air strikes on Yemen stirring fears of a prolonged disruption to global trade in Red Sea, one of the world's busiest routes, industry officials said on Friday. U.S. and British warplanes, ships and submarines launched dozens of strikes across Yemen overnight, retaliating against Iran-backed Houthi forces for attacks on Red Sea shipping, widening regional conflict stemming from Israel's war in Gaza.

Jan 15 - France's Senalia sees 2023/24 grain exports stir after slow start
Senalia, which operates France's biggest grain export terminal, said on Friday that its cereal shipments from Rouen port were picking up after a disappointing start to the season marked by stiff competition from cheaper Black Sea supplies. Cooperative-owned Senalia loaded 1.67 million metric tons of cereals between July and December, the first half of the 2023/24 season, down nearly a third from 2.43 million over the same period in 2022/23, it said during a presentation.


Jan 12 - Romania to remain biggest alternative export route for Ukraine's grain
Romania will remain Ukraine's largest alternative export route for grains and other goods in addition to Kyiv's own Black Sea corridor, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Thursday. Ukraine is one of the world's biggest grain exporters. It began using Romania's Black Sea port of Constanta after Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 halted shipments from its own Black Sea ports.

Jan 12 - China's imports of Mongolian coal set to rise as transport improves
China's imports of Mongolian coking coal may rise to a record in 2024, after more than doubling in 2023, on improving transport links and its lower price versus domestic and international supplies, traders and miners said. China is the world's biggest steel producer and coal importer and a shift to abundant Mongolian supplies could come at the expense of Australian imports of the steelmaking ingredient.


Jan 11 - Ukraine's Dec Black Sea food exports top U.N.-brokered deal at its peak
Ukraine exported 4.8 million metric tons of food via its Black Sea corridor in December, surpassing the maximum monthly volume exported under a previous U.N.-brokered grain deal, brokers said on Wednesday. Prior to Russia's invasion in February 2022 Ukraine exported about 6 million tons of food per month via the Black Sea.

Jan 11 - Tunisia buys about 50,000 T durum, 50,000 T feed barley in tender
Tunisia's state grains agency is believed to have purchased about 50,000 metric tons of durum wheat and 50,000 tons of animal feed barley in international tenders on Wednesday, European traders said. The durum wheat was believed to have been bought in two 25,000 ton consignments at estimated prices of $446.97 and $448.73 a ton c&f, both from trading house Viterra.


Jan 10 - NITRO SHIPPING FREIGHT REPORT FOR GRAINS

AZOV SEA & BLACK SEA: After the long Russian holidays, the Azov Sea market is beginning to show signs of activity. Charterers are testing the market with rates of usd 55-62 pmt fiost bss 3'k of wheat for a shipment from Rostov to Marmara, but actual fixtures are being concluded at rates above usd 60 pmt. Many vessel positions for January dates have already been filled. Although there is currently no active trade, traders are focused on finalizing previously agreed upon deals. Despite this, market players appear optimistic and anticipate that freight rates will either remain steady or increase in the coming week.

FAR EAST: At the beginning of the new year, there has been a slight decline in freight transportation. This decline is attributed to a notable decrease in grain shipments, which can be attributed to challenging weather conditions and unreliable railway operations.

CASPIAN SEA: The situation at the AMR roadstead has significantly improved, with little to no ice in the canal and ships sailing without the need for icebreaker assistance. However, freight is decreasing due to a decline in trade transactions and falling grain prices. While there is a positive trend in Makhachkala, the water situation remains challenging.

BALTIC SEA: The Baltic Sea freight market is bit low at the beginning of the year. A number of open vessels are looking for employment in spot/ppt.


Jan 10 - EU 2023/24 soft wheat exports down 11% by Jan 7
Soft wheat exports from the European Union since the start of the 2023/24 season in July had reached 15.84 million metric tons by Jan. 7, down 11% from a year earlier, data published by the European Commission showed on Tuesday. EU barley exports totalled 3.17 million tons, up 3% from the corresponding period in 2022/23, while EU maize imports were at 9.03 million tons, down 43% from a year earlier.

Jan 10 - South Korea’s NOFI buys around 135,000 T corn in tender
Leading South Korean animal feed maker Nonghyup Feed purchased about 135,000 metric tons of animal feed corn in an international tender on Tuesday, European traders said. It was purchased in two consignments.


Jan 09 - Russian wheat export prices edge up over last two holiday weeks
Export prices for Russian wheat have increased slightly over the last two holiday weeks, while market activity has remained low, analysts said on Monday. The price of 12.5% protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery in February was $244 per metric ton, up $1 from the level two weeks ago, the IKAR agriculture consultancy reported.

Jan 09 - Ukraine grain exports down more than 4 mln tons year on year
Ukraine's grain exports so far in the 2023/24 July-June marketing season have fallen to about 19.4 million metric tons from almost 23.6 million tons at the same stage last year, agriculture ministry data showed on Monday. The volume exported this season includes 7.8 million tons of wheat, 10.3 million tons of corn and 1.2 million tons of barley.

 

Jan 08 - Odesa region ports cargo rises 15 pct in '23, governor says
Ports in Ukraine's Black Sea region of Odesa boosted cargo handling in 2023, amid the war with Russia, by 15 percent year-on-year, regional Governor Oleh Kiper said on Friday. Kiper, writing on the Telegram messaging app, said the ports processed more than 50 million tonnes of cargo last year.

Jan 08 - River Rhine in Germany reopens to shipping after high water recedes
The river Rhine in Germany has been reopened to shipping after being halted due to a rise in water levels following rain last week, German authorities said on Monday. Rhine river shipping had been stopped around the western city of Koblenz on Friday. But water levels have fallen again to levels permitting ships to operate, the German inland waterways navigation agency said.


Jan 05 - Taiwan buys some 82,975 metric tons wheat of U.S.
The Taiwan Flour Millers' Association purchased an estimated 82,975 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in a tender, European traders said. The purchase involved various wheat types for shipment from the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast in two consignments.

Jan 05 - South Korean mills buy 50,000 T wheat from the U.S.
A group of South Korean flour mills bought an estimated 50,000 metric tons of milling wheat to be sourced from the United States in an international tender, European traders said. The purchase involved several different wheat types and was all bought on an FOB basis for shipment in 2024 between March 15 and April 15.


Jan 05 - Ocean rates - Freightos Baltic Index

- Asia-US West Coast prices (FBX01 Weekly) increased 63% to $2,713/FEU.
- Asia-US East Coast prices (FBX03 Weekly) climbed 55% to $3,900/FEU.
- Asia-N. Europe prices (FBX11 Weekly) increased 151% to $4,042/FEU.
- Asia-Mediterranean prices (FBX13 Weekly) increased 108% to $5,175/FEU.

- Even with the US-led international naval task force in place, Houthi attacks on commercial vessels continued last week including a missile attack and attempted hijacking of a Maersk container ship on Saturday.
Saturday’s attempted hijacking - significant because Maersk was one of two carriers to recently announce it would reroute back through the Suez Canal - marked an escalation. The US response sunk three Houthi boats approaching the Maersk ship, reportedly killing ten. International tensions are rising as the UK is considering targeting Houthi positions in Yemen and Iran moved a warship to the Red Sea on Sunday, stating that Iranian naval vessels have periodically been in the Red Sea “"to secure shipping lanes, repel pirates, among other purposes since 2009." Houthi missile attacks have continued into the New Year even after US and UK responses.
Most container carriers are continuing to divert their vessels away from the Red Sea even with the force patrolling. Maersk and CMA CGM had resumed some Red Sea sailings as of late last week, and announced that they would gradually return in full when possible. But following the attack on Saturday, Maersk suspended all its Red Sea transits until further notice.

- The longer voyages for diverted services mean longer lead times for importers and some threat of port congestion if updated schedules can’t be maintained and multiple vessels arrive at once, though so far there have not been reports of backlogs. The excess capacity that carriers were contending with before the Red Sea disruptions will now be activated to use more ships than usual per service to try and keep up with departure schedules and keep containers moving.

- Some carriers are shortening the “free time” N. American import containers are allowed to sit at destination ports in attempts to speed up the return of empty containers and avoid equipment shortages at Asian origin ports, as empty containers will now take longer to get back to export hubs.
The diversions are also causing ocean rates to spike.

- Asia - N. Europe rates have increased 173% compared to just before the diversion announcements, to more than $4,000/FEU. Asia - Mediterranean prices have doubled to more than $5,000/FEU. These rates are more than double prices in January 2019. CMA CGM announced Asia - Mediterranean rates will increase to more than $6,000/FEU on January 15th. Carriers have also announced surcharges ranging from $500 to as much as $2,700 per container which could push the all-in prices paid by shippers even higher.

- Rates to N. America’s East Coast have climbed 52% to $3,900/FEU, 30% higher than in 2019. Some carriers have added significant surcharges for India - N. America containers, and $500/FEU surcharges for all Asia - N. America shipments starting in mid-January, though surcharge announcements for N. America have not been widespread so far. Prices to the West Coast have also increased sharply, climbing more than $1,000 per container to $2,713/FEU, possibly reflecting some anticipated shift in demand to the West Coast to avoid the increased transit time to the East Coast.


- With surcharges, if all-in prices reach the $5k - $8k per container range for these major ex-Asia tradelanes, those rate levels would be 2.5 to 4 times above normal levels for this time of year.
But compared to the pandemic years, carriers have the available capacity to address diversions and longer voyages. The additional costs and capacity taken up by the longer transits are pushing rates up significantly, but even at $5,000 - $8,000/FEU, Asia - N. Europe and Mediterranean prices would be 45% - 65% lower than their $14k/FEU pandemic peak in late 2021, and 65% - 75% lower compared to the Asia - N. America East Coast peak of $22k/FEU.

Jan 05 - Air rates - Freightos Air index

- China - N. America weekly prices stayed level at $5.85/kg.
- China - N. Europe weekly prices fell 25% to $2.98/kg.
- N. Europe - N. America weekly prices fell 13% to $1.82/kg.

In air cargo, some analysts are expecting the delays in ocean freight to lead to some shift of more urgent volumes to sea-air services or air cargo alternatives. So far there have not been reports of any significant air cargo bump, though. Freightos Air Index rates for Asia - N. America have remained level, while Asia - N. Europe prices decreased last week, to their lowest level since August of last year at about $3.00/kg.


Jan 04 - Shipping lines raise freight prices for some coffee routes – ICO
Shipping companies transporting coffee in containers have raised freight prices in some routes as a consequence of the attacks in the Red Sea that have forced vessels to take detours, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said on Wednesday. Iran-backed group Houthis, who control much of Yemen including the capital, have attacked in the Red Sea commercial vessels they allege have Israeli links or are sailing to Israel, in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Jan 04 - CMA CGM says ship off Yemen coast unharmed
French shipping firm CMA CGM said on Wednesday that its CMA CGM Tage container ship was unharmed and suffered "no incident" after Yemen's Houthis said they "targeted" the ship. The CMA CGM spokesperson said the ship was headed for Egypt, denying the Houthis' military spokesman Yahya Sarea comment that it was bound for Israel.


Jan 03 - Argentina farm exports halved in 2023 to settle at nearly $20 bln
Argentine farm exports totaled about $19.7 billion in 2023, data from the country's major oilseeds crushing and export body showed on Tuesday, a 51% drop from the previous year, largely because bad weather reduced agricultural output. Argentina is a major global exporter of processed soybeans, corn and wheat, but a major drought hit its farms in 2022-2023, adding to economic weakness.

Jan 03 - France's CMA CGM hikes shipping rates between Asia and Mediterranean
French shipping group CMA CGM will increase its container shipping rates from Asia to the Mediterranean region by up to 100% as of Jan. 15 compared to Jan. 1, it said in a notice posted on its website on Tuesday. As of Jan. 15 - which refers to the date of loading in the origin ports - and until further notice, CMA CGM' Freight All Kinds (FAK) rate for a 40-foot long container between Asia and the West Mediterranean will be $6,000, up from $3,000 on Jan. 1.


Jan 02 - Iran's SLAL tenders for 200,000 T soymeal - traders
Iranian state-owned animal feed importer SLAL has issued an international tender to purchase up to 200,000 metric tons of soymeal, European traders said on Tuesday. The deadline for submission of price offers in the tenders is also Tuesday, Jan. 2, they said.

Jan 02 - Egypt's GASC seeks 50,000 tonnes of sugar in tender
Egypt's state grains buyer the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) is seeking 50,000 tonnes of raw cane sugar and/or 50,000 tonnes of white sugar in a tender, it said in a statement on Monday. White sugar should be packed in 50 kilogram packages, it said.

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