Iron ore exports, coking coal imports lead to a 5% increase in traffic across India’s ports in April – Dec

India’s major ports saw a 5 per cent rise in traffic during the first nine months of the fiscal (April – Dec), driven by the rising export of iron-ore and increased import of coking coal (used mostly in steel-making).

The provisional data of the Indian Ports Association shows that cargo handled across the ports increased to 605.15 million tonnes (mt). Cargo handled in the same period last year was 576.70 mt.

As per the data, accessed by businessline, iron ore shipments jumped 45 per cent y-o-y for the nine-month period to 43.14 mt, up from 29.67 mt in the year-ago period. The maximum exports were through the eastern coast ports of Paradip and Vizag at 18.5 mt and 11.2 mt.

  • Also read: Over 90 per cent of Indian iron ore exports made to China

On the other hand, coking coal imports saw a nearly 13 per cent increase to 49 mt. Coking coal imports were at 43 mt in the 9MFY23 period. However, there was a 3 per cent odd decline in thermal or steam coal shipments to 95 mt for the April – Dec period of 2023, as against 97.5 mt in the year-ago period, according to data collated across major ports of the country.

The Kolkata port, now called Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port (SMP) handled the highest shipments of coking coal, with 18.3 mt – 16.2 mt across Haldia and 2.1 mt in Kolkata, followed by Paradip at 11.3 mt. Paradip handled 35.8 mt of thermal coal, the highest among ports.

  • Also read: CCI market study urges restricting iron ore exports for Aatmanirbhar Bharat

Petroleum, oil, and lubricants continue to be the most dominant cargo category with 181.4 mt being handled across the major ports, up by 4 per cent on a y-o-y basis for the period under review.

Major ports in India (under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways) include SMP Port that includes the Kolkata and Haldia dock systems, Paradip, Vishakhapatnam, Kamarajar (Ennore port), Chennai, VO Chidambaranar (Tuticorin), Cochin, New Mangalore, Mormugao (Goa); Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA), and Deendayal (Gujarat).

Amongst these, Paradip witnessed the highest overall traffic at 105.6 mt, up 9 per cent y-o-y. Deendayal Port had the second highest traffic at 98.7 mt, down 6 per cent, for the period. The highest traffic growth in percentage terms was witnessed by Mormugao, up over 19 per cent, driven by high iron ore exports.

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