Rail freight down 20% in early 2016

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In the first two months of 2016 the Latvijas Dzelzcels (Latvian Railway) rail freight volume has decreased 20%, newly instated head of the company Edvīns Bērziņš told Latvian Radio Monday.

Bērziņš said that the volume of rail freight is on the decrease in the whole region, partially due to the season. He said that the falling Russian Ruble, low coal and oil prices, as well as developing ports in Russia have all contributed to the fall in freight volume.

Bērziņš said that growing coal and oil prices, as well as a more stable Ruble could offset the year-on-year fall in volume. There has already been a small growth in rail freight volume in March.

About 80% of the freight comes from Russia, while the company is vying for extra freight from Kazakhstan, China, and Belarus. Domestic freight is also a very perspective venture as a mere 2% of freight is domestic at the moment.

According to the Central Statistical Bureau, the total freight transportation in Latvia last year fell 2% year-on-year.

Bērziņš denied any political reasons for the decrease, saying that Russia modernized a railway branch to Latvia even last year. 

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