During the first seven months of FY 2017, cargo throughput at major ports has registered a 4.6 per cent growth over the corresponding period of the previous year. The growth was supported by a doubling of iron ore cargo volumes (21 million tonne versus 10 million tonne) as well as growth in POL (9 per cent) and other cargo categories (8 per cent). However, volumes of other categories like coal and fertilisers were down by 4 per cent and 11 per cent respectively during the period. Coal volumes continue to remain subdued, as higher domestic production of coal and lower than projected growth in demand continue to reduce the existing demand-supply gap.
According to K Ravichandran, senior VP and group head, corporate ratings, ICRA, “Iron ore volumes had been declining up to H1 FY 2016, as mining restrictions prevailed during a large part of the year in major states like
Karnataka, Goa and Odisha due to policy measures such as high export duty. With lifting of bans and further relaxation of export duty on low grade iron ore in the budget, mining activities commenced gradually and further supported by a rise in prices, iron ore exports picked up in recent months. Commencement of exports by NMDC to Korea and Japan, based on a long-term agreement signed during the year is also likely to have supported volumes.”