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Monday, June 22, 2009

India: Recession pulls port traffic down marginally

Monday, 22 June 2009

Port traffic declined 1.15 per cent in April-May 2009 compared with 2008 figures for the same period on account of the ongoing recession in western countries and the consequent slump in demand for goods from India. Total traffic went down from 92 million tonnes in April-May 2008 to 91 million tonnes this year. Of the 12 major ports in the country, eight have recorded negative growth in traffic according to official data.
The biggest hit has been taken by Kolkata at negative 18.87 per cent on account of a decline in import and export from the Haldia Dock Complex. Traffic at this complex went down 25 per cent on account of slowdown in petroleum products and iron ore movement. Haldia Dock Complex and Kolkata Dock System together account for the entire traffic for Kolkata Port. The other ports that recorded negative growth in traffic include Cochin at 14.47 per cent down, Kandla at 7.65 per cent, Mumbai at 6.7 per cent, Chennai at 6.85 per cent, Vizag at 3.04 per cent, JNPT at 1.69 per cent and Ennore at 0.62 per cent.
As far as commodity wise traffic slowdown is concerned a major slump has been registered in the movement of containers. In terms of tonnage the decline for containers stood at negative 8.22 per cent, while in terms of twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) it stood at negative 12.38 per cent.
“Last year the first quarter was good while the last three quarters showed poor traffic growth on account of recessionary forces. This year the overall growth is expected to be better as we expect a rebound in the second quarter,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.
Ports that recorded a positive growth include Paradip at almost 20 per cent growth, Mormugao at 18.45 per cent, New Mangalore at 9.83 per cent and Tuticorin at 2.66 per cent. Paradip saw growth mainly on the back of POL products, while Mormugao grew on account of increased coal traffic.
Source: Indian Express