Russia's main port operator says turnover up 1.2% in '12
Novorossiisk Commercial Sea Port Group, operator of Russia's biggest port, saw total cargo turnover edge up last year as growth in general cargo shipments - mostly steel - offset a decline in crude oil and grain shipments.
Novorossiisk on the Black Sea is Russia's largest port and the main outlet for Russian energy and commodity exports. It also manages the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk, a major oil and oil products outlet in the north.
Total turnover was nearly 159 million tons, of which liquids amounted to more than 131 million tons.
Crude oil handling in the port declined 2.3 percent to 110 million tons, it said, after the launch of a new export outlet, Ust-Luga, and increasing competition between ports for resources as oil output growth slowed.
Oil products exports increased by 17.4 percent following the launch of a new fuel oil terminal.
Bulk cargo fell by 5.8 million tons, driven largely by a drought-stricken harvest that slashed grain exports from the record 28 million tons exported in the 2011/12 crop year.
It was partly offset by the launch of coal export operations in the port in August.
Coal "was the major driver of bulk cargo growth for Russian ports in 2012, and we strongly believe that coal will be an important addition to our diversified cargo base going forward," the port operator said in a statement. (Reuters)