The share of transit of Russian cargo through the infrastructure of the Latvian railway in the first half of 2022 amounted to 52.5%. This was stated by the representative of Latvijas Dzelzceļš Agnese Licite. Compared to the first half of last year, the share of Russian cargo decreased by 0.2%.
Since the beginning of the Russian special operation in Ukraine from March to June, the share of Russian cargo turnover amounted to 51.3% – 0.8% less than in the same period last year.
Kazakhstan is in second place in terms of the volume of goods transported by the Latvian railway – in the first half of 2022, its share increased by 0.4%, to 25.8%. From March to June, the share of cargo from Kazakhstan was already 28%.
Cargo from Belarus in the first half of last year accounted for 34.6% of all cargo transported by the Latvian railway – and in the first six months of this year they accounted for 11%. Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine in March – 9.5%, compared with 32.2% in the same period last year.
Already in the second half of last year, the volumes of some cargo groups, especially coal from Russia and Kazakhstan to the countries of the European Union, increased significantly, and the increase continued this year as well, Licyte explained.
Immediately after the outbreak of the conflict, even before the entry into force of international sanctions, there was a particularly intensive movement of goods, especially imports from Russia – anticipating the sanctions, companies tried to import as many goods as quickly as possible. Now, in accordance with the sanctions, the volume of Russian cargo transportation through the railway infrastructure of Latvia is gradually decreasing, the representative of LDz explained.
It is also important to take into account that the restrictions on the transportation of various goods introduced by the sanctions come into force gradually – certain groups of goods are prohibited from being transported from June, July and August.
As for Belarus, only since June a ban on the export of timber, cement and other goods from there has come into force.
At present, the import to and from Russia, for example, grain and products of its processing, ferroalloys, ores, is still allowed.
The cargo structure was most noticeably affected by the increase in coal transportation, as in the first half of the year 876% of the volume of the previous half year was transported, but this trend began even before the start of the conflict in Ukraine – in the second half of last year. In the first half of this year, 68.7% of coal was sent from Kazakhstan.
There is also an increase in ore cargo transportation – if in the first half of 2021 297 thousand tons were transported, then this year for the corresponding period – already 827 thousand tons.
Also, an increase of 13% is accounted for by grain and products of its processing, and by 15% – for the transportation of minerals. For other groups of cargo, compared with the first half of last year, there is a decrease in volumes.
It has already been announced that the volume of rail freight traffic in the first six months of this year in Latvia increased by 17.6% compared to the corresponding period in 2021 and amounted to 12.23 million tons. Of these, the volume of international traffic amounted to 11.589 million tons, which is 19.7% more than in the first half of last year, while the volume of domestic traffic decreased by 10.7% to 641 thousand tons.