(CAA Analytics) Russian coal throughput in Latvian ports plummets 77.7% in H1 2020
In H1 2020, overall handling of Russian coal in Latvian ports plummeted to 2.1 mio t (-7.4 mio t or -77.7% y-o-y).
In 2020, the rapid decline in Russian coal supplies to Latvian ports gains momentum amid record low indices and reduced coal consumption in Europe, caused by consequences of Covid-19.
Statements of Russian government that cargoes would bypass the Baltic countries have been heard for a long time, while the volume of cargo transportation has begun to decline since 2014. The pandemic has significantly accelerated the shifting of Russian coal handling from Latvian ports to Russian terminals.
Coal handling in Riga dropped to 1.7 mio t (-3.3 mio t or -65.9% y-o-y) while throughput in Ventspils plunged to the lowest historical level of 0.25 mio t (-3.5 mio t or -93.5% y-o-y). Transshipment of Russian coal in Liepaja dipped to 0.19 mio t (-0.58 mio t or -75.4% y-o-y).
Latvian ports face the worst issues related to deliveries of Russian coal, which was the main cargo for local terminals. Currently coal handling volumes are below the most pessimistic forecasts that were made in 2019.
According to experts, one of the options for resolving the issues with waning throughput in Latvian ports may be a gradual replacement of coal handling with other bulk cargoes. In turn, the port of Liepaja intends to focus on the transshipment of grain and general cargoes.
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