NOVOROSSIYSK, RUSSIA — The Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port Group (NCSP) on Jan. 31 announced a decline in overall 2010 group cargo turnover of 5.6% to 81,602,800 tonnes from 86,519,400 tonnes in 2009. The Russian government’s imposition of a grain export ban in August 2010 contributed to the port’s annual grain volumes declining by 36.5% or 3,315,200 tonnes from 2009. NCSP’s 2010 grain volumes declined to 5,759,500 tonnes from the 2009 volume of 9,074,700 tonnes.

“The year-end results came out quite expectable and well-balanced, which highlights the importance of further investments in cargo and geographical diversification to maintain a strong base for future growth, while this year’s breakthrough in the container segment is the best argument in favor of our investment priorities,” Chief Executive of NCSP Igor Vilinov said.

The doubling of container traffic was the strongest factor supporting NCSP Group operating performance throughout 2010. The group’s container throughput in the reporting year totaled 471,400 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) versus 234,800 TEU in 2009. At the same time, Baltic Stevedoring Company boosted throughput by 250.6% from 48,100 TEU in 2009 to 168,800 TEU in 2010, and the NLE terminal in Novorossiysk increased its volumes by 122.9% which amounts to 187,200 TEU.

Fertilizers, sugar, timber, non-ferrous metals, and perishable cargo also showed good growth in 2010 and increased by 23.0%, 30.9%, 14.3%, 28.8% and 32.1% respectively.