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India: Cargo volume at major ports slip 21% in April; Chennai, JNPT severely hit

The country’s 12 major ports recorded a 21 per cent decline in cargo volumes at 47.42 million tonnes (MT) in April this year, mainly due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Indian Ports Association (IPA).

Ports like JNPT, Chennai, Cochin and Kamrajar witnessed a huge decline in cargo handling, according to the latest data.

India has 12 major ports under the control of the Centre – Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla); Mumbai, JNPT; Mormugao, New Mangalore; Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) that handled 705 million tonnes (MT) cargo in the last fiscal.

These 12 major ports handled 47.42 MT cargo in April, down 21.08 per cent as compared to the corresponding month of 2018-19, as per the latest figures released by the port body IPA.

Chennai Port saw a massive 38.17 per cent fall in cargo handling to 2.44 MT, and JNPT declined by 33.97 per cent to 3.95 MT in April.

Cargo handling at Cochin port slipped 33.73 per cent to 1.87 million tonnes, and Kamrajar Port fell 30.03 per cent to 2.08 MT, the data showed.

Container trade was severely hit as it recorded a decline of 36.98 per cent in terms of TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit), followed by 30.46 per cent fall in thermal coal.

Rating agency Icra had last week said that while all cargo segments are vulnerable, the container segment is expected to be more adversely impacted.

It said that while general cargo throughput may witness 5-8 per cent contraction for full-year 2020-21, the container segment may witness a decline of 12-15 per cent during the same period.
Source: Business Standard

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