The port of Klaipeda expects a fall in cargo turnover amid the situation with Belaruskali and China. This was stated today by Vaidotas Sileika, the President of the Association of Stevedoring Companies of Lithuania. The most pessimistic scenario assumes that the volume of cargo will be reduced by a third, or by 14-15 million tons. Last year, cargo transshipment in Klaipeda decreased by 4.7% to 45.5 million tons.
«We are looking at this year with concern, the situation is quite tense, the transit of Belarusian fertilizers can be suspended on February 1, and this is a large loss, 10-11 million tons per year of transit cargo. As for China, the tendency is not very optimistic, the first few weeks of January are not an indicator, but the impact on the exchange of containers is visible. There is no particular optimism,» BNS quotes Sileika.
China reacted negatively to the opening of the representative office of Taiwan in Lithuania. In particular, customs clearance of Chinese goods was tacitly restricted, companies working in Lithuania or with Lithuanian suppliers receive signals that their products may become undesirable in China.
An additional challenge for the port is to increase tariffs for the use of the infrastructure of the Lithuanian Railway. This may lead to the fact that Lithuanian export cargoes can go to other harbors. The possible volume of losses is estimated at 0.8-1.5 million tons.
Last year, the cargo turnover of the port of Klaipeda decreased for the first time since 2013. Its fall began in the second half of the year. In December, the volume of cargo decreased by 9.7% compared to the same period in 2020. At the same time, more cargo was handled in Klaipeda than in Riga, Ventspils and Tallinn in total.