Freeport of Riga says Russian energy resources’ transit, other cargo volumes increased
In the first half-year of 2016 18.3 million tons of cargo were handled at the port of Riga, which is by 11.5% less than during the corresponding period of 2015, Freeport of Riga says in a press release. In the context of low demand for Russian energy resources in the European markets coal and oil product transit flow through the Riga port has decreased within this period, and volume of those products’ transshipment decreased by 19%. By contrast, the total volume of other cargo increased by 2.3% compared to the first half of 2015. This is a positive trend, as there is a decrease in energy resources share in the total cargo volume of the port. If during last year's six months the volume of handled coal and oil products accounted for 64% of the total port cargo turnover, then currently their share has dropped to 59%. Thus the Riga Port’s dependence on Russian transit cargoes has decreased.
Bulk cargo is still by far the biggest cargo group at the port of Riga. During 6 months of 2016 the port handled 10.4 million tons of bulk cargo, which constitutes 57% of the total port cargo volume. Compared to the first half of the year the positive dynamics of indicators in this segment has been maintained in fertilizers (+ 3.8%), wood pellets (+ 17.8%), cereal products (+ 56.4%), as well as in wood chips (+11, 9%) handling. The volumes of transshipped soy products, ore and various metals have increased. At the same time the turnover of the largest type of cargo of the segment continues to decline - by a fifth less coal was handed compared to the last year. Due to falling demand for Russian coal, Russian coal export flows, transshipped via the Baltic Sea ports, decreased by 15% during five months of 2016. As a result, a significant volume decline primarily affected the ports of the Baltic States - in the first half of the year coal cargo volume in Riga decreased by 21%, in Ventspils – by about 46.8%, while in Tallinn coal has no longer been handled at all in 2016.
Containerized cargo constitute the major part of the general cargo segment (62%) at the Freepott of Riga. 182.5 thousand TEU of containerized cargo was handled at the Freeport during the first half-year of 2016 , which is by 1.3% more than during the corresponding period of 2015. The number of container line vessels‘ calls to the port also increased this year - by 18 more ships have called the port in the first half of the year in the framework of regular container line vessel schedule. In general, 3.1 million tons of general cargo were handled at the port in the first half-year of 2016, which is by of 3.4% less than during the reporting period of 2015. Ro-ro cargoes of general cargo segment have managed to maintain positive dynamics of indicators (+ 3.4%), while the handled volume of timber fell (-3.1%) as well as the volume of handled metal cargo (-31.7%).
The volume of transshipped oil products continued to decline in June and thus there has been a decline in total liquid cargo turnover at the port. In the first half-year of 2016 the port handled 4.82 million tons of liquid cargo, which is by 16.8% less compared to the 2015 reporting period.
During six months of 2016 the number of Tallink ferry line passengers increased by 8.2% and its services were used by 234.4 thousand travelers. Together with the 15.5 thousand cruise passengers, the port of Riga in the first half of the year served 250 thousand passengers, which is by 5.3% more than last year.