22% yoy dip in cargo volumes in April-May
According to the Indian Ports Association, cargo volume handled by major Indian ports dropped 22% during the first two months of the ongoing fiscal to 92.82 million tonnes (MT) from 119.23 MT during April-May period of 2018-19. Chennai, Cochin and Kamrajar ports saw their cargo volumes drop over 40%, whereas Kolkata and JNPT suffered a drop of over 30% amid the coronavirus lockdown.
There are 12 major ports under the control of the central government, which handled 705 MT of cargo in the last fiscal. These include Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).
The data disclosed that container trade was severely hit as it recorded a decline of 36.33% in terms of TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit), followed by 35.94% fall in thermal coal. This was predicted by ICRA, which opined that while all cargo segments are vulnerable, container segment is expected to be more adversely impacted. The ratings agency had added that general cargo throughput may witness 5-8% contraction for full year 2020-21, the container segment may drop 12-15%.