The cargo turnover of Ukrainian seaports will decrease by three times in 2022

Due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the cargo turnover of Ukrainian seaports will decrease by three times in 2022 compared to 2021 – to 50.8 million tons. Chairman of the State Enterprise «Ukrainian Sea Ports Administration» (USPA), Oleksiy Vostrikov, reported about it, informs Ports of Ukraine.

At the same time, the expected transshipment of the Danube ports in 2022 will increase by three times. In particular, the port of Izmail – by more than twice, to 8.6 million tons, the port of Reniya – by 5 times, to 6.9 million tons, and the port of Ust-Dunaisk – by 12.2 times, to 783 thousand tons.

“Regarding the ports of Great Odesa, I would like to note that transshipment of all types of cargo was carried out only until February 24. Since August, after the opening of the grain corridor, the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdenny partially resumed their work on the shipment of grain,” added Oleksiy Vostrikov.

It is predicted that by the end of 2022, Odesa Port will reduce its cargo turnover by almost three times a year – to 7.7 million tons, the Black Sea port – by 2.2 times, to 11.7 million tons, and Pivdenny – by 3.5 times, to 15.2 million tons.

Blockade of sea ports leads to significant export losses in Ukrainian steel sector. The monthly amount of such losses reaches $420 million. Each month Ukraine cannot produce and export 1.3 million tons of iron ore, 151 thousand tons of pig iron, 192 thousand tons of semi-finished products, and 218 thousand tons of finished steel products.

EU seaports do not have free capacity to handle all Ukrainian cargo, so railway wagons stand in queues at Ukraine’s borders with the EU. Even during the war, 60% of steel products from Ukraine are delivered to final consumers by sea transport. Therefore, the growth of production and loading of Ukrainian steel enterprises, the restart of idle capacities, and the growth of exports are possible only on the condition that Ukrainian Black Sea ports are unblocked.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2021, the sea ports of Ukraine reduced transshipment of iron ore by 14.8% compared to 2020 – to 37.75 million tons. In total, for 12 months, port operators handled 153.07 million tons of cargo, which is 3.8% less y/y. The share of iron ore in the total cargo turnover of ports at the end of the year amounted to 24.7%.

Sea port Pivdenny last year shipped 77% of domestic iron ore from the general indicator of export by sea. During the year, the port processed 29.14 million tons of iron and manganese ores, reducing the figure by 15.3% compared to 2020.

In January 2022, Pivdenny managed to process 2.247 million tons of iron ore, increasing the transshipment of raw materials by 5% compared to January last year. Transshipment of goods continued until the end of the war. In mid-March, the Ministry of Infrastructure reported, that the ports Mykolaiv and Pivdenny continued partial shipment of iron ore and steel products, but later transshipment stopped due to the mining of sea lanes and the threat of piracy from the ships of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation.

Ukrainian steelmakers suffered greatly and continue to suffer from the blockade of seaports. For 11 months of 2022, export of iron ore fell by 42.9% compared to the same period in 2021 – to 23.2 million tons. At the same time, the main part of raw materials – 10.6 million tons – was exported in the first quarter.