The seaborne traffic at the country’s 13 major ports declined 0.4 per cent in November due probably to Diwali festivities. Nevertheless, the preceding month of October too had ended with 2.2 per cent y-o-y drop, as compared to the increase in the earlier five months. As a result of declines in these two months, the growth rate in port traffic fell to 1.4 per cent by the end of November, from 1.7 per cent till October and 2.3 per cent during H1, even as the feat was better than 2.9 per cent decline in the corresponding period of the fiscal 2012-13. Four out of 13 ports ended the month with annual decline: Kandla with 21 per cent, Chennai with 19 per cent, JNPT with 5 per cent and Mumbai with 3 per cent. These four ports have recorded lower freight cumulatively also during April-November. Among the nine ports that were in positive growth phase during November, basking in robust thermal coal loading, Ennore recorded 54 per cent growth. Mormugao achieved 35 per cent growth, over 55 per cent in October, on the back of strong growth in coking coal and other industrial cargo, even though the port continued to draw blank in iron ore loading. Among the cargo, iron ore freight has been buoyant since around July, with total quantity in the latest four months working out to be around 80 per cent more than that handled in this period a year ago. The feat resulted in a reduced decline of 22 per cent till November, as compared to 53 per cent till July. Paradip, Visakhapatnam, New Mangalore and Haldia benefited from this buoyancy, even as Mormugao remained untouched.
Coking coal import was 20 per cent more and thermal coal 11 per cent. The other five categories of cargo recorded lower quantities, relative to November 2012. Taking April-November period, traffic volume at the major ports was up 1.4 per cent, retarding from 1.7 per cent till October and 2.3 per cent during H1. Among the ports, Ennore Port has enjoyed booming business, thanks to burgeoning thermal coal quantity: Freight volume at the port was up 59 per cent during the period. Freight volume at Paradip was up 25 per cent and that at New Mangalore 9 per cent cumulatively. Business volume at Mormugao was down 48 per cent. Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Kandla, Mumbai and JNPT also suffered 1-5 per cent decline in freight volume.
Thermal cargo shot up 36 per cent, against 40 per cent till October and 44 per cent during H1. Iron ore freight was down 22 per cent (even after taking into account y-o-y increases during August-November). Booming thermal coal loading helped Ennore and Paradip, apart from New Mangalore and Kandla. The one per cent increase in POL business was concentrated in Paradip and Ennore. Eroding finished fertilizer freight was noticed mainly in Kandla and Visakhapatnam and 5 per cent drop in container volume was concentrated in JNPT and Chennai.