Cargo Volumes At Indian Ports Decline After Two Months Of Growth
Shipping containers sit stacked on a cargo ship. (Photographer: Loren Elliott/Bloomberg)  

Cargo Volumes At Indian Ports Decline After Two Months Of Growth

Cargo handled by Indian ports fell in September after two months of growth as container and coal volumes dropped.

Ports across the country handled 546.4 lakh tonnes of cargo last month, a decline of 0.4 percent over the last year, investment banker Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report. Container, coal and "other cargo products" together contribute more than half of the total cargo volumes at Indian ports.

A growth in volumes of liquid cargo—oil- and gas-related products—iron ore and fertiliser, however, offset part of the decline in overall volumes.

Container volumes declined for the first time in at least 21 months because of a high base, slow export-import trade and slowdown across industries. This decline, according to Goldman Sachs, poses a downside risk for Adani Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd., Container Corporation of India Ltd. and Gujarat Pipapav Port Ltd. Yet, the brokerage has a ‘buy’ rating on Adani Ports. It remains neutral on the other two stocks.

Key Highlights

  • Coal volumes fell 7 percent over the last year at 105 lakh tonnes—the fifth straight month of decline.
  • Volumes of liquid cargo, which contributes nearly 40 percent of the total cargo volumes, rose 4.4 percent over the last year—the biggest jump in five months.
  • Iron ore and fertilisers volumes grew for four straight months, albeit at a slower rate. Iron ore volumes rose 19 percent—the slowest pace in five months. Fertiliser volumes grew 1.5 percent year-on-year—the slowest pace in four months.
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