Week ending October 27, 2002


News on Shipping

SCI reports net profits at Rs.77 Crore The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has reported a net profit of Rs.77 crore for the quarter ended September 2002, as compared to Rs.64.4 crore for the corresponding quarter in the last fiscal year. Net sales of the company has however, declined to Rs.596.6 crore from Rs. 741.25 crore in the same period last year. The net profit of Rs. 77 crore recorded during the quarter under review includes extra-ordinary income comprising refund of income tax of Rs.75.05 crore and interest of Rs. 7.37 crore for the previous year. The extra-ordinary income of Rs.82.42 crore if excluded, would show a net loss of Rs. 5.42 crore. In the quarter in review, the SCI's liner division has performed well over its preceding quarter registering 142 per cent jump, to Rs. 201.26 crore from Rs.141.53 crore, over the preceding quarter in the current fiscal year.

Essar Shipping net profits decline in second quarter Essar Shipping has reported a decline in its net profit to Rs. 7.12 crore for the quarter ended September 2002, as compared to Rs. 12.65 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year. The company's net sales have also declined to Rs. 105.52 crore from Rs. 107.06 crore in the same period. The company has however, maintained its operating margins at a level of 41 per cent, which is mainly attributed to higher average time charter earnings per day, for its Suezmax fleet at $ 17,936.

News on Ports

Major ports cargo throughput for H1 exceeds target According to the figures released by Indian Ports Association (IPA) the combined cargo throughput of all the major ports during the first half of 2002-03 has exceeded the target set by the Ministry of Shipping (MoS) by 4.43 percent. All the twelve major ports together (including the coporatised port of Ennore) have handled 150.26 million tonnes of cargo during the first six months of 2002-03, compared to 138.74 million tonnes handled during the corresponding period of the previous year. The growth in cargo throughput during this period over that of the same period last year was 8.31 per cent. The performance trends of individual ports indicate that all major ports except Kolkata Dock System (KDS) and Chennai port have registered positive growth.

Kerala to develop seven minor ports through privatization route The Kerala government has drawn up a Rs. 5,000 crore plan to develop seven major ports in the state, through private sector participation. The feasibility report for some of the minor port development projects have been prepared by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) and the government is planning to shortly invite private sector port developers to bid for these projects. The government is also planning to present its case for port development in the state at the Global Investors' Meet to be held in January 2003.

Labour unions at loggerheads over shift of cargo The labour union of Indian Rare Earth Ltd. (IRE) and Gopalpur Port & Dock Worker's Union are at loggerheads over the move by IRE's Orissa Sands Complex (Oscom) over the proposed move to use Vizag port for export of mineral sand ilemenite. While the IRE labour union is backing the proposal of the management to use Vizag port for export of minerals, the port labour union of Gopalpur is opposed to the proposed move as it would lead to closure of the Gopalpur port. The port has been out of operation for want of working capital and adequate cargo for past one year. IRE has since been using Vizag port for exporting the mineral sand and is saddled with huge stocks of 2.5 lakh tonnes, exports of which it wants to expedite.

IDFC to act as consultant for Vallarpadam terminal project Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) has been appointed as consultants for the Rs.2,000 crore Vallarpadam international transshipment terminal. The pre-qualification bids for the terminal project is likely to be invited shortly. Under the terms of the appointment, the consultant would prepare the feasibility report for the proposed terminal and assess the bid applications.

Coal Imports through Paradip goes up Following substantial hike in the coking coal imports by the Steel Authority of India (SAIL), the imports handled through Paradip port has gone up substantially. In the first half of the current fiscal year, SAIL imported 4.6 lakh tonnes of coking coal through the port, as compared to 2.56 lakh tonnes in the same corresponding period of previous year. The coking coal imports through the port is mainly used to meet the requirements of Rourkela Steel Plant. Besides, Tata Iron & Steel Company (TISCO) also imports coking coal through the Paradip port. Coking coal traffic has been the single largest factor contributing to the rise in port's total cargo throughput, with its imports during first six months of fiscal 2002-03 reaching a level of 9.08 lakh tonnes, a 44 per cent growth over the performance of 6.3 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of the previous year.

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