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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/17/2012 -- While last quarter it was developments in the box shipping sector offering upside risk to our forecasts, with Ukrtranscontainer (UTC) resuming its operations at the port of Illichivsk, after a three-year absence, this quarter its is Ukraine's dry bulk shipping sector offering upside risk to our total tonnage forecasts, with developments in the handling of soft commodities at both Ukraine's port of Odessa and Illichivsk.
The port of Illichivsk has resumed its handling of sugar cargoes offering upside risk to our short- and medium-term forecasts. The first ship carrying raw sugar, of what is set to be regular monthly calls, has pulled into the port of Illichivsk and unloaded 45,500 tonnes of cargo. The port has not handled sugar cargoes since 2010, but has kept the required equipment installed.
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The resumption of sugar handling at the port, with the Illichivsk port authority reaching a preliminary agreement with the cargo owner to facilitate regular monthly calls, offers upside risk to our already bullish total tonnage forecasts.
Dry bulk accounts for only a small percentage of the port's total activities (18.4% according to April throughput figures) with liquid bulk the major operation (65%). Dry bulk handling does, however, offer considerable expansion potential and is a factor behind the 2.3% increase in throughput that the port posted in the first four months of 2012, with the facility handling 5mn tonnes in this period.
At the port of Odessa a new grain terminal is being developed, as the country's maritime sector strives to keep pace with its role as a major exporter of grain. The development offers upside risk to our mediumterm throughput forecasts for the port.
Construction work is now underway to expand Odessa's grain handling capacity. The grain terminal project will be the port's fourth and will be capable of handling 4mn tonnes of grain a year. The terminal is being developed by Brooklyn Kiev, which operates one of the container terminals at the port - Odessa Terminal Holdco (OTHL). The company is stumping up US$40mn of the US$125mn cost of the project and expects it to break even in five years. The terminal is due to come online in September 2013.
BMI notes that considerable investment is being made into Ukraine's grain logistic supply chain. In August 2010 a grain handling facility was opened at the Port of Odessa, with a per annum handling capacity of 125,000 tonnes. Grain shipment is a major operation at Odessa, with the commodity the thirdlargest dry cargo shipped through the port in 2011 - grain accounted for 12.9% of the total cargoes handled at the port in that year.
Grain throughput at the Port of Odessa has been steadily growing. In 2011 the port handled 3.3mn tonnes of the commodity, a year-on-year (y-o-y) increase of 38% and an increase of 167.6% on the port's throughput in 2001.
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