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India: Container volumes at Indian ports up 10 per cent in Q2FY18

Container traffic in India grew 10 per cent for the July-September period, the first time this year that it has passed the double-digit mark.

“It is the first time that the psychological level of 10 per cent has been crossed and it is very important,” Steve Felder, the managing director for Maersk Line, told here.

The volume growth outpaces what was achieved in the last twelve months and he said the company expects the same to continue in the last quarter of the year as well. Felder said this growth is “outperforming” industry expectations and much faster than many of India’s emerging market peers.

When asked about the reasons for the faster than expected surge in container volumes, he attributed it to the policy reforms like GST that had affected trade settling down.

He added that the uptick in the GDP growth, which increases consumption in the country, has also helped in the ramping up of containerised trade.

The Indian Ports Association, a body of the state-run major ports, had reported a 3.26 per cent surge in traffic in the April-October period. It can be noted that policymakers and analysts have been voicing concerns over a dip in exports.

Felder, however, said that the container cargo is different from the overall volumes handled and moreover, the data collated in its report is not limited to the major ports.

He said over 50 per cent of the country’s overall trade volume moves through the container route and continues to grow, albeit at a slower pace currently.

On a regional basis, establishment of peace in Turkey saw a faster growth in container movements to and from the Mediterranean region which posted a 14 per cent growth, the report said.

North America grew eight per cent, which is representative of the growing trade ties, he said. Algeria reported the highest growth at 28 per cent as against 12 per cent growth in the year-ago period.

On the imports front, West India showed a 8 per cent jump, north India was up 13 per cent and South India was up 11 per cent, it said, adding, east India saw a shrinking of 3 per cent.

“The growing middle class, coupled with developing industrialisation, bodes well for imports into India going into 2018,” he said.
Source: PTI

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