The main reasons for the fall in the volumes of transportation of export and transit goods by rail were the fall in demand for products of the Ukrainian mining and smelting industries and the sanctions imposed by Russia.

Pavlo Rudenko, an analyst at CFTS Consulting, stated this while commenting on the dynamics of freight transportation by the Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company in the in the first half of this year, compared with the same period of 2015.

"Economic recovery is happening at a slow pace and the fall in global demand for the products of Ukrainian mining and smelting complex is exerting a downward pressure on freight transportation, which resulted in a fall of 13.1% or 3.03 million in the export of Ukrainian iron ore in the first half of this year, compared with the first half of 2015. A number of restrictions by Russia on import of goods (consequently, a fall in exports of construction materials by 63.7% or 4.9 million tons, year on year) and the reorientation of Russian cargo flows to the country’s own ports resulted in a year-on-year fall of 39% or 5.3 million tons in the volume of transit in the first half of the year," Rudenko said.

As reported, Ukraine transported 162.6 million tons of cargo by rail in the first half of this year, which is 1% less than it transported in the first six months of 2015.

Compared with the corresponding period of last year, the volume of transportation of transit goods reduced by 38.7%. It totaled 8.45 million tons during the first half of 2016. In addition, transportation of export cargo reduced by 12.7% to 54.7 million tons.

However, Ukrzaliznytsia increased the volume of transportation of domestic freight by 15.2% to 81.2 million tons and import freight by 5.4% to 18.3 million tons in the period of January-June 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.