Conflict in Ukraine would destabilise trade in the Black Sea region and bulker owners should prepare for riskier business and higher freight rates if the situation deteriorates, lawyers have told TradeWinds.

Further sanctions on Russia look inevitable, unless the situation de-escalates.

Ukraine and Russian ports in the Black Sea are major export hubs for grain, as well as coal.

Lawyers from Stephenson Harwood in London told TradeWinds they expect trading restrictions in the region would tighten the freight market, driving up bulker rates.