NEW DELHI: Iron ore cargo shipped by Major Ports surged 163 per cent in 2016-17 even as other key commodities like coal and fertilisers saw a decline and container shipments had to contend with tepid growth.
The last financial year has proved to be a major comeback for iron ore. Cargo volumes of the key steel-making ingredient moved up from 1.89 million tonne (mt) to 4.9 mt. This surge was largely on the strength of the iron ore traffic from that Mormugao Port, which registered the highest growth at 59.7 per cent among all Major Ports in FY17. Waiver of 30 per cent export duty on low-grade iron ore fines and lumps (with iron content less than 62 per cent), chiefly from Goa, buoyed export-bound iron ore cargo from the port. The ports on the eastern sector, Paradip and Visakhapatnam, were the other big gainers from the revival in iron ore cargo.
The other key cargo driver for major ports was liquid cargo comprising crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas and liquefied natural gas. Liquid cargo movement through the Major Ports was up 8.16 per cent in the last financial year.
Coal cargo, however, decelerated in the period under review. Thermal coal shipments were down 13.48 per cent. Coking coal traffic was marginally lesser by 1.82 per cent. Fertiliser cargo, too, tanked. Finished fertilisers fell 17 per cent, whereas raw fertilisers saw a decline of 6.76 per cent.
Container shipments, on tonnage terms, witnessed a dip of one per cent. In terms of TEUs (twenty tonne equivalent units), it was down further by 3.04 per cent. The overall cargo of major ports was up 6.79 per cent in the last financial year.