Russian Port Bunker Volumes Higher than Expected

Tuesday, February 11, 2003
The major Russian port of St. Petersburg experienced it coldest January for 50 years and at the beginning of the month bunker suppliers there were fully expecting deliveries to slump. In fact volumes continued at more or less the previous month's level, despite very tough conditions for the bunker tanker crews.

Deputy general manager of leading bunker company ECO Phoenix Holding, Dmitry Ivanov, "In December the total volume of bunkers supplied at St Petersburg was about 40,000 tonnes, of which ECO Phoenix delivered about 12,000 tonnes. At the beginning of January conditions became so severe that we fully expected our sales to be hit hard. Icing conditions in the port are extremely bad and deliveries can only be made with the assistance of tugs which add about an extra US$4 per tonne to prices.. Much to our surprise we have managed to keep ECO Phoenix's volumes at 12,000 tonnes for January while we estimate the port total to be between 35,000 tonnes and 38,000 tonnes."

He adds: "In spite of rather high prices, the level of enquiry did not fall significantly. This was despite a dramatic fall in ship calls due to extensive and severe icing in the Baltic. The Marine Administration Department tells us only 415 vessels arrived at St Petersburg in January, compared to 638 in the same month last year.

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