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i-maritime News Service

Major portsí Q1 traffic falls 5% - 2012-07-16


All commodities, barring thermal coal, registered a decline in loading at major ports for the first three months of the current fiscal. The ports handled 138.5 million tonne (mt) of cargo, which is 5.49 per cent lower than the same period last year. The trend can be explained due to the weakening rupee, with India being a net importer of cargo. Moreover, exports could also have been impacted by the Euro zone crisis and the slowdown in the US. It must, however, be noted that the total traffic handled takes into account the 2.55 per cent growth in weight of containers handled and not the 0.33 per cent dip in the number of containers. The almost 11 per cent growth in thermal coal during April-June helped major ports reduce the rate of decline of total cargo handled, which was at a steeper 5.7 per cent in the April-May period. Most of the incremental thermal coal arrived at the ports of Ennore, Paradip, and Mumbai.

Containerised traffic in June inched closer to that of June 2011. The ports handled 6.31 million TEU containers in June, against 6.34 millions in the same period last year. For the three-month period, all major ports handled 1.94 million TEUs, down 0.33 per cent. Two ports that reflected an improvement during the trimester were Kolkata Dock system and Visakhapatnam, with JN Port handling almost the same level of TEUs. The trend of containers getting heavier continued with the tonnage showing a 2.55 per cent growth despite a 0.33 per cent dip in TEUs. On an overall basis, ports that reflected a growth were Ennore (35 per cent), Kochi (13.77 per cent) supported by raw fertiliser, Mumbai (13.74 per cent) supported by a mix of thermal coal and raw fertiliser, JN Port (1.99 per cent) and Kandla (0.09 per cent). The major ports – which are administered by the Central Government – account for 60 per cent of the cargo.

The remaining is handled by non-major ports - such as Dhamra, promoted by Larsen & Toubro and Tata; Krishnapatnam by Marg Group, Adani Port and Essar, which are large corporate groups with captive demand from their power plants, steel plants and refineries.