Cargo growth at India's major ports fell to two per cent in April-July this fiscal year.
Ports in Karnataka's New Mangalore, Goa's Mormugao, and Tamil Nadu's Chennai and Kamarajar (Ennore) reported cargo shipment decelerating in the period. The Mormugao port was hit after the Supreme Court banned mining in the state and neighbouring Karnataka curbed iron ore exports. Other ports were affected by cyclical slowdown in key sectors.
“The cargo performance of some of the key major ports has been muted. Steel sector demand has flagged and liquid cargo has not shown the growth as was anticipated,” said a top official of a major port.
Liquid cargo like crude oil, petroleum products, LPG and LNG grew by 2.63 per cent, contributing largely to muted volumes. Fertiliser cargo shipments were a dampener too. Raw fertilizer cargo moved through major ports nosedived 17.66 per cent whereas finished fertilizers slid by 1.74 per cent. Thermal coal shipments witnessed a de-growth of 10.1 per cent but were somewhat offset by coking coal that continued its growth momentum led by imports, rising 16.18 per cent.
The other positive for major ports is the robust comeback of iron ore cargo. After a dull FY19, iron ore cargo volumes spiked 22 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y). Ports at Haldia, Paradip and Vishakapatnam profited from the surge in iron ore shipments.
Vishakapatnam was the only major port that grew in double digits (10.13 per cent) during the first four months of the fiscal. Mumbai and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) almost stagnated, logging cargo growth of 0.76 per cent and 0.79 per cent respectively.
The other major ports of Kolkata (8.36 per cent)., Paradip (6.77 per cent) and Deendayal Port Trust (5.75 per cent) had to contend with modest growth rates.