HomeFeedbackSite mapRussian version

Portnews 18.03.2009
Southern ports: bids made

Transshipment of oil cargo in Russian ports goes up against the decreasing turnover of other freight. In January-February 2009, Russian ports increased total throughput by 5.2% as compared with the same period of the previous year.
In the 2-month period, cargo handling in Russian ports climbed to 71.6 million tonnes mainly due to crude and oil products. Meanwhile, transshipment of other cargoes fell by over 7% to 25.6 million tonnes.

Growing south
The Southern Basin accounted for major growth in total statistics of Russian ports. Southern ports increased their throughput by almost 20%, year-on-year, while the throughput of the North-Western Basin grew by just 0.7% and that of the Far Eastern Basin fell by 9%.

For example, in the port of Novorossiysk, Caspian Pipeline Consortium – Russia CJSC exported 5.721 million tonnes of crude for two months, almost a 20-pct increase, year-on-year. Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port OJSC posts positive dynamics of crude and oil products transshipment which grew by 15.6% and 32% to 1.011 million tonnes and 535,000 tonnes respectively. In the sector of oil products, the highest growth was reached in transshipment of diesel fuel (+46%) mainly due to introduction of the new 1-mln t terminal in Novorossiysk in October 2008).

It should be noted that transshipment of oil cargo in port Tuapse stayed at the level of the previous year while the port of Taganrog increase transshipment of oil products over 2-fold to 160,000 tonnes.

Experts attribute the growth to the impact of the global financial crisis. «Similar trends are typical for the entire world today,» Sergei Semenov, Development Director of the scientific & production company Morstroitechnology told PortNews IAA.

However, the port of Novorossiysk demonstrated the growth not only in the sector of oil cargo. In the reported period, transshipment of cast iron amounted to 84,500 tonnes, iron ore raw materials – to 439,000 tonnes, which is sever times as much as in the same period of the previous year. In February, transshipment of cast iron climbed by 81% as compared with January of the current year. In the reported period, transshipment of non-ferrous metal increased 3%, year-on-year, to 173,000 tonnes. The February result exceeded that ofJanuary by 21.3%. Transshipment of perishable cargo and vegetable oils climbed by 20,800 tonnes (or 231.1%) and 18,900 tonnes (69.5%) respectively.

Apart from this, transshipment of grain in Jan-Feb 09 exceeded the volume of Jan-Feb 08 by 140% and reached 1.155 million tonnes. In February the port of Novorossiysk handled 718,000 tonnes of grain (+64%).

Experts attribute the growth in transshipment of grain to lower transportation charges for agricultural producers which now have a discounted railway tariff for transportation of grain and products of milling industry in Russia.

“In case of favorable pricing environment we expect grain export of at least 17-17.5 million tonnes or even some 23 million tonnes according to the most favorable forecasts,” Alekdsandr Korbut, Vice-President of Russian Grain Union, told PortNews IAA. Detailed review of grain export situation see at the Agency’s Relevant Topics page dated March 12.

Investments’ destiny
In the context of general uncertainty and distinct tendency to the decrease in transshipment of the majority of cargoes construction of new port facilities is getting unreasonable hence many investors prefer not to comment on implementation of maritime infrastructure projects announced before the crisis. In particular, as PortNews IAA was told by its source in the Krasnodar Territory Administration, it does not rule out cutting of the financial support for construction of Taman port though there are three facilities in progress there. The Administration does not reveal the details. The investors do not comment either.

On the other hand, port construction in Sochi is in process. As PortNews IAA learnt from Basel, the project investor, introduction of new facilities is scheduled for late summer 2009. Unlike Taman, this port is being built in view of a specific task. “The construction of Taman port depends on the strategy of a specific company while the port in Sochi is to cater for Olympics-2014,” Sergei Semenov comments.

Nevertheless, the expert is sure that the crisis is the best time for investment in port facilities. “The cost of construction is going down while erection of new facilities is a long process. The company investing in infrastructure development today is likely to obtain competitive advantages when the crisis is over as there was a capacity deficit before the crisis,” Sergei Semenov explains. The main issue is to find financing sources which is the main problem during crisis period.

However, the RF Ministry of Transport has developed a package of proposals aimed at stimulation of transport infrastructure development in general and in port sector in particular.

For example, there is a proposal on preferential taxation related to property tax and land tax for sea and river ports. The analysis shows a considerable impact of taxes on financial activities of business entities – sea and river port operators.
For example, property tax of RosMorPort FSUE will exceed RUR bln by 2015 (or 20% of the company’s proceeds). The similar situation is with the land tax.

Otherwise, the company could invest in development.
Besides, the Ministry of Transport proposes to simplify the procedure of VAT refund for the largest exporters of goods and services through revival of a ‘traditional exporter’ institute.

Detailed review of the Ministry’s proposals see at the Agency’s Relevant Topics page dated March 12.
Nevertheless, all the above proposals have not been approved yet and the crisis is going on and nobody risks forecasting as regards when it is to be over.

So the layout of Russian port’s throughput will most probably reflect the medium-term perspectives while investments in development and construction of new facilities will be decreased.


Back to list