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Bulkers head to Russian port of Novorossiysk

Six bulk carriers comprising a total of 253,795 dwt are scheduled to arrive at the port in the coming days, including a panamax, data shows

Despite the Russian port of Novorossiysk sitting in the Joint War Committee’s war risk area, there are several bulkers heading there. At present, almost a dozen are already loading or discharging, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data

SIX bulk carriers are heading to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, where they are due to arrive in the coming days, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data, despite it being in the Joint War Committee listed area.

The bulkers, with a combined capacity of 253,795 dwt, range from handysize to panamax, and hold flags from Barbados, Panama, Liberia, Marshall Islands and Malta, the data shows.

The vessel owners are linked to Turkey, Greece and India.

While there is no ban on loading or discharging cargoes from the Russian port, which exports grain, coal, fertiliser and timber, the situation in Ukraine means that various advisories have warned of risks, with likely higher insurance premiums for calling there.

West P&I said that while European Union sanctions have targeted Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port, there is no prohibition on using its terminals, paying port fees or other charges as long as no sanctioned banks are involved in the transaction. 

There were 11 bulk carriers at the port as of March 7, data shows. The vessels are mostly in the handysize category, with a couple in the supramax/ultramax range. They are largely owned by Turkish companies, and a couple of Russian entities, among others.

One market source said that adventurous owners would be making these trades, which were likely to be lucrative.

Several owners in western Europe have said that they will steer clear of the region and would not take any new Russian business in light of the unprovoked attack on Ukraine by Russia.  

Meanwhile, no bulkers have been entering Ukrainian ports given safety risks following the invasion by Russia which forced port operations to halt.

Only two bulkers — the vessel Riva Wind (IMO: 9301196) and New Siham (IMO: 9197882) — called at Odessa since the incursion. The vessel Sivota (IMO: 9363039) called at the Yuzhny grains terminal on February 24 but left the following day.  

As of March 8, there are 34 bulkers above 10,000 dwt in the JWC Black Sea and Sea of Azov war risk area, down from 56 on February 25, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence.  

The restrictions in supply of grains from the Black Sea region, which accounts for about a third of global trade volumes, has sent wheat and corn futures prices spiralling, and alternative suppliers may be tricky to find.

According to Danish grains consultancy BullPositions, in the coming weeks and months, corn from the US Gulf could be the best bet as there are ample stocks with the potential for an exports boost.

Elsewhere, France and Germany could add 500,000 to 1m tonnes of wheat and barley per month before the new crop arrival, it said.

Additional reporting by Bridget Diakun


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