Latvia’s state-owned railway company, Latvijas Dzelzcels (LDz), carried 7.746mn tonnes of rail cargo in the first half of 2023, which was 36.7% less than in the same period of 2022, LETA reports. The volume of international freight amounted to 7.041mn tonnes (down 39.2%), while domestic freight doubled to 705,000 tonnes. LDz board chairman Rinalds Plavnieks said that the annual volume of rail cargo could decline by 20-25% in 2023. He said that the drop was mostly due to the geopolitical situation and sanctions. Plavnieks noted that replacing freight volumes was much more challenging in 2023 than it was in 2022. At the same time, he said that LDz could begin transporting grain from Ukraine in autumn 2023. The volume of Ukrainian grain exported via Latvia could amount to 0.5-1mn tonnes per year, Plavnieks estimated.