The Indian Ports Association (IPA) today informed that India’s major ports, which handle more than half of the country’s seaborne trade have witnessed a downfall in traffic of nearly 20% during the quarter ended June due to the slowed economic activity resulted by coronavirus lockdown.
As per the data revealed by IPA, the twelve state-run major ports handled 141.9 million tonnes of shipments in the quarter ended June 30, compared with 176.7 million tonnes the previous year.
The handling of major types of shipments such as crude oil, coal and containers fell, except for iron ore and fertilizers, the data showed. The data showed that iron ore traffic rose 18.83% in the quarter.
Speaking on which, Atul Kulkarni, analyst, CRU Group, said, “It was a result of higher exports due to weak local demand for steel and clearance of stockpiles by miners in the south-western state of Goa. Exports will be lower for the rest of the year, as local demand increases and global logistics and supply of iron ore improves.”
Thermal coal imports fell nearly 35% due to reduced power demand, while coking coal demand fell 29% as local demand and production of steel fell. Major ports make up 20-25% of India’s annual imports of the fuel.
Five of the 12 ports handled 63% of all shipments, IPA said, with Paradip on the east coast handling the highest traffic.