February 9 - Heavy lift shipping arriving or departing from Black Sea ports and stretches of the Danube in the region are facing disruption and berthing delays at ports and along the river.

The cold spell gripping the region has seen new record-low temperatures in nine places on February 9 2012. The latest severe weather conditions followed Force 10 gale conditions that brought a costly swathe of destruction along the Black Sea coast.

Navigation on the Bulgarian section of the Danube was suspended on February 8 because most of the river was frozen over. At Rousse, ice cover was reported to be 90 percent.

Eastern Black Sea ports are currently reporting disruption, including Varna, Odessa and Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port. Ship owners and operators of non-ice-class ships are likely to be faced with higher port charges created by ice-breaking activity and the greater use of tugs in the ports. Ships arriving at most ports are facing one or two day delays in berthing because of the extreme conditions.