Russian Railways sees drop of 3% in 2013 cargo shipments

Russian state-run rail monopoly Russian Railways (RZD) expects its total 2013 shipments – including ferrous metals, coal, oil, fertilisers and timber – to drop by 3.1% year-on-year.

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However, it expects total shipments to grow by 1.1% in 2014, RZD’s deputy head of corporate finance Pavel Ilyichyov told state-owned news agency Prime on Wednesday November 27.

The country’s GDP growth this year may miss the government’s 1.8% forecast by 0.3 percentage points, Bloomberg reported earlier this month, citing economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev. The lack of investment keeps Russian from reversing its worst slowdown since the 2009 recession, the agency said.

RZD’s previous total shipments forecast for 2013 had envisaged a drop of 2.8% from the 1.27 billion tonnes shipped last year, which was a 2% year-on-year increase on 2011.

Ilyichyov didn’t provide the breakdown into industries in the updated forecast. However, RZD’s shipments of ferrous metals fell by 5.3% in the first ten months of 2013 to 58.4 million tonnes.

Russia’s crude steel production in the period slid by 3% year-on-year to 57.65 million tonnes, according to the the World Steel Assn (Worldsteel).

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