Major Indian ports see cargo traffic up 1.30% in April

India’s major ports saw cargo traffic increase just 1.30 percent to 65.87 million tonnes (mt) in April, mainly driven by an increase in coal shipments – both coking and thermal (imports) and finished fertilizer shipments. However, traffic through three of the busiest ports – Paradip (Odisha), Deendayal (Gujarat) and JNPT (Maharashtra) – slowed due to lower iron ore shipments (a key export item from India), indicating mounting recessionary pressures.

Cargo traffic in April 2022 was 65 tons, according to data from the Indian Ports Association.

Paradip, Deendayal and JNPA handled 45 percent of the country’s cargo traffic, down slightly from the 47 percent share they had in the same month last year.

Shipments of finished fertilizers recorded the highest increase in April, rising more than 33 percent to 0.6 million tons; compared to 0.46 million in the same period last year.

Shipments of thermal coal, mostly imports, rose 27 percent year-on-year to about 12 million tonnes, up from 9.4 million tonnes in April 2022. Coking coal — a key raw material for steelmaking — saw an 11-12 percent increase to 4 .6 million tons. The coking coal deliveries in April last year amounted to 4.1 million tons.

Other liquid shipments were up 6.68 percent year-on-year to 2.4 million tons.

Incidentally, other categories such as petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL), which includes crude oil, LPG/LNG and others, saw a 2 percent year-on-year decline to 19.6 million tons, compared to the roughly 20 million tons of shipments in the month April 2022.

Iron ore shipments, which are mainly exported to China, fell about 13 percent, the sharpest decline among the major commodities tracked, to 4.7 million tons. Deliveries in the same period of the previous year amounted to 5.4 million tons.

Raw fertilizer shipments fell over 9 percent to 0.71 tons in April (from 0.8 tons in the same period last year), while miscellaneous article shipments fell over 23 percent to 6.6 tons.

Container traffic recorded 981 TEU (twenty equivalent units), up 4 percent from 943 TEU in the same month a year ago.

Port-wise traffic

Paradip – one of the busiest ports in India – saw the highest traffic at 11.7 tonnes, but that was still 4 per cent down from April last year. The decline was mainly due to lower shipments of POL – down 6 percent to 3.1 tons – and iron ore – down 25 percent to 1.8 tons.

Vizag saw traffic fall 2.35 per cent to 6.2 tonnes, mainly due to a 16 per cent drop in POL shipments.

Mormugao saw traffic drop 16.30 percent, with shipments falling in all categories except thermal coal; while in the case of the port of Deendayal, where traffic fell by 11 per cent in April, deliveries fell in most categories except coal and finished fertilisers.

Kolkata’s dock system saw a 5 percent drop in traffic.

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