Posted on October 25, 2023
The content jointly contributed by PortNews IAA and the Institute for Problems of Natural Monopolies (IPEM)
Cargo volume handled in Russian ports increased in the third quarter of 2023 by 5.5% on the same period 2022 reaching 221 million tonnes. At the same time, the growth rate declined compared to previous quarters, when it exceeded 10%.
Changes in different cargo segments show a similar picture quarter-on-quarter. The reduction was seen in volumes of ores (-26.2% on Q3 2022) and ferrous metals (-15.5%) remained at the level of the H1, 2023, but the decline in oil products shipments (-17.6%) significantly accelerated in third quarter. The changes are contributed primarily to imposed sanctions (for ferrous metals and oil products) and to a decrease in purchases by European buyers even in the absence of official embargoes (for ores). Handling of liquefied gases also decreased slightly (-6.9%), which is largely due to scheduled maintenance at the production facilities.
A volume growth is seen in the rest of nomenclature of cargoes. Handling of export coal and coke rose by 1.8%, of oil – by 3.1%. The decline in commodity exports to Europe was offset by refocusing of trade flows to other markets, including the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and the Middle East.
A positive trend is seen in container segment (+23%), which is facilitated by the development of existing and the emergence of new shipping lines services. There was a 60-percent growth in grain shipments with a 64.9-percent increase in the fertilizer segment in the reporting period.
Concerning the basin to basin throughput results, there was a slight volume decline in the Arctic and Baltic (-2.3%, 0.01%, respectively). However, the reduction in types of cargo previously exported to Europe through the Baltic Sea terminals, was completely offset by an increase in fertilizer exports volume.
There was a slight quarter-on-quarter volume increase in the Far Eastern basin ports: +5.6% in July-September versus +7.5% in April-June. The largest volume growth was seen in the Azov-Black Sea basin (+12.7%) and the Caspian Sea basins (+27.7%).
The Q3 2023 container throughput in TEU soared by 35.8% with a continued container numbers recovery in the Baltic basin (+150.3%) and sustainable growth in the Azov-Black Sea and Far Eastern basins (+69.9%, +8.9%, respectively). On the contrary, container traffic in the Arctic and Caspian basins decreased (-17.7% and -29.4%, respectively).
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