In July, the average daily transfer of iron ore cargoes through the border crossing with Poland increased by 3 times

In July 2023, Ukrainian Railways (UZ) increased the average daily transfer of railcars with iron ore through the border crossing with Poland Izov-Hrubeszów almost three times compared to the previous month – up to 204.4 railcars. This was discussed during a meeting of the Board of Directors with Polish carriers, reports informs Rail.Insider.

In general, in July, the volume of average daily transfer of railcars through the Izov-Hrubeszów crossing amounted to 470 railcars/day, which is 30% more than in June. Of them, 382 units were destined for export.

«The main reason for this growth is that iron ore cargoes have finally gone through this joint. For example, in July, the average rate of iron ore transfer through this junction was 204.4 railcars. Compared to last month, there is an increase of 131 railcars per day. That is, the transfer of iron ore through this junction has almost tripled,» explained the deputy director of the UZ commercial department work Valeriy Tkachev .

The volumes of iron ore transferred through this transition in July are the largest since the beginning of the year. Previously, the maximum transfer volume was recorded in March – 203.9 railcars.

«We can continue to increase the volume of transmission. For example, in March 2023, the volume of transmission through the junction exceeded 500 railcars per day,» Valeriy Tkachev added.

In July 2023, queues of  freight railcars in the direction of the western border crossings increased by 20% or 1.4 thousand units compared to the end of June – up to 8.4 thousand units. The volume of average daily freight transfer in July decreased to 1,628 thousand railcars, which is 95 units less than in June.

In the first half of 2023, Ukrainian Railways transported 70.5 million tons of cargo, which is 17.1% or 14.5 million tons less than in the same period of 2022. At the same time, 12.4 million tons were transported in June, which is 8.1% more than the volume of May-2023 and 32% more than the same period last year.

Export transportation of ferrous metals fell by 62.2% compared to the same period in 2022 – to 2.32 million tons, and ferrous metals – by 44.7% y/y, to 8.67 million tons.

The potential to increase the export of Ukrainian iron and steel products to Europe is definitely there. According to the estimates of the GMK Center, steel enterprises are now loaded at 70%, and Mining is less than 50% of the pre-war indicators. On the other hand, there are additional problems with logistics. Amid the cancellation of the grain agreement, agricultural exporters will even more try to increase exports through the Danube ports and western border crossings, reducing the opportunities to export iron and steel products.

For more information on rail freight transportation in the first half of 2023, see GMK Center infographics.