Ukrainian seaports handled 63.8 million tons of cargo in the period of January-June this year. The number of vessels processed by the country’s seaports increased by 176 or 3.1% to 5,848 during this period, compared with the corresponding period of 2017.
The volume of cargo handled by Ukrainian seaports in the first half of the year is 3.1% lower than the volume they handled in the same period of 2017. The slight drop is due to a smaller volume of export grain shipments by farmers and a shortage of railcars for transportation of ore, the CFTS portal reports, citing data from the Ukrainian Seaports Authority.
Grain and ore cargoes accounted for the reduction in the cargo handling volume. Transshipment of export grain reduced by 10.3% due to a fall in trading activity during the off-season and a high level of competition. Seaports handled 18.190 million tons of such cargoes during the reporting period. "It should be noted that the grain and oilseed harvest totaled 61.3 million tons in 2017, which is 7% less than the total in 2016. The fall in transshipment volumes was therefore due to a smaller harvest," said Andrii Isaiev, a senior analyst at CFTS Consulting. The volume of grain transshipment in Ukrainian ports traditionally begins increasing in July after falling in May and June.
The volume of ore exports fell by 26.5% in the first half of the year. In absolute terms, the volume was 8.509 million tons, compared with 11.589 million tons a year earlier. In total, seaports handled 13.026 million tons of ore in the period of January-June this year. The biggest fall in the volume of ore transshipment was registered at the Yuzhny seaport: a 34.9% fall at the TIS Ruda terminal and a 20.8% fall at the Yuzhny Port Terminal. The reason for such a significant fall was an acute shortage of rolling stock (locomotives and wagons) from the Ukrainian Railways public joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia). The shortage of locomotives in the Ukrzaliznytsia network is between 100 and 150, according to various estimates. Mass idling of freight cars has been reported several times in recent months.
The volume of transshipment of export cargoes totaled 46.1 million tons in the first half of this year, which is 8.9% less than the volume in the same period of the last year. The volume of transshipment of ferrous metals increased by 16.5% to 8.1 million tons, including 4.8 million tons of rolled metal (a 3% increase) and 1.6 million tons of pig iron (a 66.5% increase). In addition, 17.491 million tons of export grain cargoes were handled in in the first half of the year. The leaders in transshipment of export cargoes were the Odesa port (5.8 million tons), the Mariupol port (2.3 million tons), and the Yuzhny port (1.6 million tons).
Container transshipment increased by 37% to 391,000 TEU during this period. The leaders in transshipment of containers were the Odesa port (which handled 284,000 TEU), the Chornomorsk port (59,000 TEU), and the Yuzhny port (47,000 TEU, a 47% increase).
Transshipment of import cargoes increased by 18.7% to almost 11 million tons in the first half of this year, compared with 9.2 million tons in the same period of 2017. Ore imports increased by 19.7% (ports handled 3.7 million tons of imported ore) and coal imports by 10.7% to 2.8 million tons.
The volume of transshipment of transit cargo increased by 7.9% to 5.8 million tons in the first half of this year, compared with the corresponding period of last year. The largest volumes of transit cargoes were handled at the TIS Coal terminal (coal) and the Odesa portside plant (ammonia) in the port of Yuzhny (3 million tons), the Odesa port (0.7 million tons), and the Reni port (0.6 million tons). The volume of transshipment of transit coal fell because shipments to Ukrainian ports have not been made in the past three months. According to experts, transit cargo flows may fall significantly in the second half of this year because of restrictions by Russian Railways. "Operators on the rail transport market are saying that the Russian Railways had restrictions on transportation of coal to Ukrainian ports from May to June. It will be possible to feel and evaluate the impact of this factor on the transshipment volumes in ports at the end of the third quarter of 2018," said Isaiev.
As reported, Ukraine's seaports handled 132.9 million tons of cargo in 2017, which was 0.9% more than they handled in 2016. The largest volumes of cargo were handled by the Yuzhny port (41.889 million tons, a 6.6% increase), the Odesa port took (24.12 million tons, a 4.5% reduction), and the Mykolaiv port (23.533 million tons, a 5% increase).