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India: Tepid economic activity slows cargo growth of ports

Monday, 05 August 2019 | 00:00

Subdued economic activity has led to a muted cargo performance of major ports and railways during the April-June quarter of this fiscal.

Major ports clocked only 1.5 per cent growth during the period as against four per cent growth in cargo throughput in the corresponding quarter of FY19. The cargo performance of major ports was lacklustre as liquid cargo comprising crude oil, petroleum products, naphtha and LNG registered a flat increase of only 1.12 per cent. Barring Cochin, none of the major ports could log a double digit growth in their cargo throughput. Growth of ports of Mormugao, New Mangalore, Chennai and Kamrajar (Ennore) dived into the negative zone.

For major ports, growth in cargo volume was mainly supported by increased volume of coking coal (16.9 per cent), iron-ore incl. Pellets (15.3 per cent) and container volumes. Coking coal and iron-ore account for 14 per cent of the total cargo handled by the major ports. Container volumes recorded a 5 per cent increase and witnessed their share improving by 71 basis points in the overall cargo handled by major ports to 21.3 per cent during Q1 of FY20, CARE Ratings noted in its report on ‘Passenger & Cargo Movement’.

Railways posted a 2.7 per cent growth in cargo volumes in April-June, a considerable decline from 6.5 per cent growth achieved in the comparable period of last fiscal. Coal cargo moved through railways grew by 3.8 per cent in the quarter, accounting for 51 per cent of total volumes. Pig Iron, finished steel and iron ore, which accounted for 16 per cent of the total cargo handled recorded a 11.1 per cent growth in cargo volume handled by railways.

The slowdown in volume and passenger numbers across modes of transport relates well with subdued economic activity – both domestic and foreign trade, the report added.
Source: Business Standard

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