India’s Cargo Volumes Keep Growing In February Despite Coronavirus Outbreak
Cargo handled by Indian ports rose for the third straight month in February on the back of higher liquid cargo, iron ore volumes and a favourable base.
Ports across the country handled 572.3 lakh tonnes of cargo last month, a rise of 4 percent over the year-ago period, according to a Goldman Sachs report.
Liquid cargo, which contributes nearly 37 percent to total volumes, grew 4 percent year-on-year after declining in the previous month. Iron ore volumes, which have risen for the last 10 consecutive months, grew 60 percent year-on-year, partly aided by a favourable base.
According to Goldman Sachs, the coronavirus’ impact on shipping is expected from March, potentially affecting the volume numbers of Adani Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd., Container Corporation of India Ltd. and Gujarat Pipapav Port Ltd. The brokerage has a ‘buy’ rating on Adani Ports and ‘neutral’ on the other two stocks.
Container and coal volumes—which together constitute 43 percent of India total cargo volumes—continued to grow, albeit at a slower rate. Container volumes grew 1.4 percent while coal volumes grew 0.4 percent compared to last year.
Fertiliser volumes continued to grow for the ninth consecutive month. The growth rate in February, however, was the slowest in the last five months. Fertiliser volumes grew 4.7 percent year-on-year while other cargo volumes declined 10.9 percent.