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The Port of Riga boasts new cargo handling records during December 2016

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Dry Bulk,

In December 2016 a total of 3.7 million t of cargo was handled at the port terminals and it has been the most successful month of the last year. Compared to November 2016 a monthly amount of handled cargo increased by 27.6%. The rapid growth of cargo turnover at the port might be attributed to the increasing volume of handled coal. Due to high coal price Russian coal exports via Riga port have again significantly increased. In December 1.6 million t of coal were dispatched from Riga by sea, it was the largest single month coal throughput volume over the port's history.

In 2016 the port of Riga handled 37.1 million t of various cargo. However, it is by about 3 million t, or 7.5% less than in 2015, but in general the last year was the third best year in the history of the port. According to the cargo turnover the year of 2016 has been outperformed solely by the years of 2014 and 2015, when a record amount of energy cargo was transported via the port. The decrease of coal and oil product transit flows most significantly affected the overall turnover figures in 2016, because the said cargo still accounts for more than half of the cargo handled at the port. At the same time there are positive facts – the rest of the total volume of cargo increased by 4.6%, thus gradually diversifying and balancing the different types of cargo transshipment via the port of Riga, as well as reducing dependence on Russian transit cargoes.

The Freeport of Riga Board Chairman Mr. Andris Ameriks: “Given the geopolitical agenda and situation in the world markets as well as the fall in cargo turnover throughout the region, Riga port operation in 2016 has been successful. Despite the pessimistic forecasts at the beginning of the year and various statements in regards of the Russian transit cargo, instead of the planned 10% reduction in cargo turnover, the port concluded the year only with a 7.5% decrease in cargo turnover. At the end of the tear the handled coal volume has returned to 2014 and 2015 levels, and even reached record figures. It provides an optimistic outlook for 2017”.

In 2016 the port handled 22.4 million t of dry bulk cargo, which is by 3.7% less than in the previous year. More than half – 59.4% – of the dry bulk cargo volume consists of coal. In 2016 the port of Riga handled 13.3 million t of coal and coal transporting vessels sailed from Riga to 22 different countries’ ports. The second largest dry bulk cargo segment type by volume are mineral fertilizers. Their turnover in 2016 continued to increase and the port handled 2.8 million t of fertilizers, which is the highest annual turnover figure for these cargo in the history of the port. In 2016 a new record was also established for cereal product cargo – the port handled 1.3 million t of this cargo, which is by 23.6% more than in 2015. In 2016 bulk grain products were handled at 11 different port terminals.

In 2016 6.5 million t of general cargo were handled at the port, which is by 5.1% more compared to 2015. The increase is mainly attributed to the positive container cargo turnover figures. In 2016 385.9 thousand TEU of containerised cargo were transshipped via the port, which is by 8.6% more than in the previous year. General cargo segment demonstrated positive dynamics of indicators also in ro-ro cargo (+ 5.3% compared to 2015) and metals (+ 48.9%) transshipment volumes. The increase was registered in the chemical goods, cereals and fish cargo; however, the cargo volumes were small.

The biggest decrease in 2016 was registered in liquid cargo segment. The turnover of oil products, that account for 99% of this segment's cargo turnover, decreased by 23.1% and the port terminals together handled 8.1 million t of petroleum products. In 2016 the Port of Riga has been a successful passenger service provider. The port serviced 582 000 passengers, which is by 10.5% more than last year. Both the numbers of Tallink ferry line passengers and cruise passengers increased. In December and the Christmas season another cruise ship called the Riga port. Therefore, in 2016 63 cruise ships visited Riga, bringing 71 thousand cruise passengers, which is by 3.3% more than in the previous year. In December, Tallink ferry line resumed operation of the second ferry – “Romantika”, thus providing a daily ferry service from Riga port. Consequently, substantial increase in the number of passengers is projected at the port of Riga the next year.

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