Belarus, Cargo, Lithuania, Railways, Russia, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 30.05.2020, 12:17

Transit cargo volumes to go down, CEO of Lithuanian Railways says

BC, Vilnius, 07.11.2019.Print version
The volumes of cargo transported by Lithuania's state-run railway company Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways, LG) might drop slightly this year after the share of Russian cargo carried via Lithuania has gone down, and the tendency might continue into next year, LG CEO Mantas Bartuska says LETA/BNS.

"The volumes of certain products that used to go via Klaipeda from Russia, they are either gone this year or dropped. And we are partly counterbalancing this with Lithuanian and Belarusian cargo, but the general portfolio is slightly smaller. (…) If it is set to go down, so probably by 1% or 2%, compared to 2018, so that's not a significant change," Bartuska told on Thursday.

Attending a conference on transport in Lithuania, organized by the Valstybe (State) magazine, he said the tendency of decreasing Russian cargo volumes might continue next year.

"Russia's policy determines the Russian cargo portfolio, as well as the wish to take their cargo via their own ports. That's the national principle. (…) The tendency or risk of Russian product volumes going down will probably continue in the future," Bartuska said.

In his words, the volumes of Belarusian fertilizers went down at the end of the year, despite an increase in the general cargo volumes. Despite the drop in the volumes of Belarusian cargo carried in all directions, LG has managed to maintain their level.

"The general market in Belarus has shrunk this year, around 6 percent of the total. Belarus caries around 120 mln tons, and that's a considerably big portfolio. (…). Meanwhile, the cargo volumes from Belarus to Latvia and Estonia are going down," Bartuska said.

Nevertheless, he said, the company looks pretty well in the Baltic region as cargo volumes in Latvia, Belarus and Poland are going down, and LG is one of the larger carriers.

Last year, LG carried 56.8 mln tons of cargo, compared to 52.6 mln tons in 2017. It carried 41.2 mln tons in the first three quarters of this year.

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