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Port of Riga Maintains Stable Cargo Volumes

During the first quarter of 2019, the volume of cargo handled at the Port of Riga remained stable, amounting to 11 million tonnes. Though the volume of bulk cargo decreased by 6.1% and the volume of liquid bulk by 7.7%, this was offset by growth in general cargo. Year on year, cargo turnover increased by 4.2%, amounting to 2.82 million tonnes. Moreover, 1,184 cargo vessels were served at the port during the reporting period.

“Cargo volume and turnover remained stable at the Port of Riga. As before, the volume of liquid bulk decreased for geopolitical reasons. The turnover of coal suffered a slight decrease during the first quarter of this year, though the total volume of coal handled at the Latvian ports was 12% higher year on year, amounting to 6.9 million tonnes. A drop in the volume of coal at the Port of Riga was expected due to adjustment and fine-tuning of technologies and equipment at the new terminal in Krievu sala. Thus, the maximum loading and unloading capacity has not yet been achieved. This, in turn, has allowed other Latvian ports to handle more,” explains Ansis Zeltiņš, the CEO of the Port of Riga.

An increase in the handling of timber, which is the second largest freight group at the port, has sustained its momentum. In only four months, 2.1 million tonnes of timber and timber-derived products were shipped from the port, which is 31.1% more than a year ago. In addition, the volume of wood pellets has almost doubled. During the first quarter of this year, 0.68 million tonnes of wood pellets were shipped from the port, which is 91.7% more than in 2018. Exports of wood chips have also increased by 25.2% year on year, and the volume of general timber cargo by 12.4%. With respect to timber goods, only bulk sawnwood, the smallest category of timber goods, registered a decrease.

As before, container cargo was the third largest freight group in the portfolio of the port: during the first quarter of 2019, the number of handled and empty TEUs shipped via the port increased by 4.4%.