A spurt in coal traffic ramped up cargo volumes at major ports during April-November this fiscal. Thermal or steam coal shipments in the period were up 20.92 per cent. Coking coal, too, recorded a firm growth of 15.44 per cent.
Overall cargo traffic at major ports rose 4.83 per cent in this period. In terms of overall cargo shipments, Kamarajar (Ennore) port was the biggest gainer, logging sharp rise of 20.15 per cent. Rise in coal traffic is likely due to a spike in electricity demand. As supply bottlenecks constrain domestic coal supplies, especially to non-regulated sectors like aluminium and cement, dependence on imported coal has shot up. Also, steel makers are importing more of coking coal as domestic supplies have become scarce, an industry insider said.
Cargo growth at Mormugao port tanked 25.59 per cent, as a fall out of the mining ban in Goa and curbs on iron ore exports from Karnataka. In terms of year-on-year cargo growth, Cochin port managed to register 11.73 per cent rise. Rest of the major ports either grew in single digits or witnessed slide in overall cargo.
Containers segment was the next big contributor to cargo shipment through major ports. Container shipments, in the period under review, grew 9.21 per cent by tonnage and 8.35 per cent in TEUs (twenty tonne equivalent units).
POL cargo made up by crude oil, refined products, LPG and LNG witnessed a tepid growth of 2.98 per cent whereas traffic of other liquids decelerated by 1.79 per cent.
Raw fertilisers traffic tanked 20.88 per cent. Iron ore cargo - pellets included, dived by 9.92 per cent.