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Iron ore shipments rise 15% YoY after similar decline last fiscal

Jayajit Dash/Bhubaneswar 13 Jul 19 | 04:48 PM

Iron ore cargo bounced back at major ports, rising 15.33 per cent year-on-year during April-June of this fiscal.

Iron ore traffic has staged a comeback after a year of deceleration in 2018-19 which saw a decline in shipments by 16 per cent. As a fall-out of de-growth in iron ore cargo in last fiscal, many major ports dependent on the commodity, had to contend with muted growth in cargo throughput.

At the end of June in FY20, all major ports with the exception of Mormugao port saw their iron ore volumes mounting. Mormugao was battered by the mining ban in Goa and curbs clamped on ore from Karnataka.

The Kolkata Dock System, made up by the riverine port of Kolkata and the one at Haldia, saw its iron ore cargo, including pellets, soaring more than three fold between April and June. Paradip port’s iron ore shipments spiked by 70 per cent in the period. Visakhapatnam, another iron ore cargo-driven port, had a 41 per cent growth in the commodity.

The surge in iron ore shipments were propelled largely by a revival in export demand for the key steel making ingredient.

“Indian iron ore is being lapped up by the international markets, especially China, after the crisis at Vale’s mines in Brazil and (after) some of Australia’s operations (were) pounded by a cyclone. The supply turmoil has generated a firm demand for iron ore in the export markets. Indian exporters are also fetching better prices as supply crunch had exalted iron or futures price at China’s Dalian commodity exchange to five year highs before moderating," said an industry source.

Other than iron ore, coking coal shipments moved through the major ports logged a robust growth of 16.88 per cent. Container cargo measured in TEUs (twenty tonne equivalent units) grew by seven per cent.

However, liquid cargo consisting crude oil, petroleum products, naphtha and LNG posted an increase of only 1.12 per cent. The combined cargo growth of all major ports was also lacklustre at 1.52 per cent from April to June of this fiscal. Barring Cochin, none of the major ports could log double-digit growth in their cargo throughput. Growth of ports of Mormugao, New Mangalore, Chennai and Kamrajar (Ennore) dived into negative zone.

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