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Netherlands-based Port of Rotterdam reported that its freight throughput decreased by 1.5% during the first quarter of this year amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The port facilitated 113.6 million tonnes (Mt) of freight during the first quarter of this year, versus 115.2Mt in the same period last year.

The throughput of mineral oil products and iron dropped, while that of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as other liquid and dry bulk materials rose.

Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Allard Castelein said: “Although we started the year exceptionally well, the world was hit by the war in Ukraine in late February.

“Besides the fact that this conflict is a terrible humanitarian disaster, it led to serious uncertainty in world trade and changes in logistical parameters.

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“Although no one can predict how this will unfold, we expect that the developments in Ukraine and the seriously deteriorated relationship between Russia and many other countries will impact throughput volumes for the rest of the year as well.”

According to the port, 62Mt out of approximately 470Mt of its throughput was Russia-oriented in 2021, accounting for 13%.

Several energy carriers from Russia are imported through the Port of Rotterdam. Last year, around 30% of crude oil, 25% of LNG, and 20% of oil products and coal arrived from Russia.

The Port of Rotterdam is also used by Russia to export steel, copper, aluminium and nickel. Furthermore, 8% of container handling was Russia-oriented last year.

The port stated that ‘the impact of the sanctions and of the decisions of individual companies not to do any business with Russia any longer, has become noticeable in almost all sectors’.

Since March, oil companies have imported less oil from Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.

As a result of the conflict, most shipping companies have also stopped booking Russian container cargo while most deep-sea terminals have stopped accepting export cargo from Russia.