06-03-2017

India: Major ports see 169% surge in iron ore handling in April-January

IRO

Iron ore shipments handled by the country’s 12 major ports surged 169 per cent to 38.61 million tonnes (MT) in the April-January period of this financial year.

The government-owned ports had handled 14.37 MT of the key steel-making raw material in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

The Indian Ports Association (IPA), which maintains cargo data handled by these 12 ports, in its recent report said that “percentage variation from previous year” in iron ore handling was as high as “168.59 per cent” in the first ten months of the current fiscal.

Mining giant Vedanta had recently said the worst phase for the domestic iron ore industry is over and exuded confidence that its Goa arm is prepared to sustain the export momentum amid softening global prices and subdued demand.

A Fitch arm last month said the country’s iron ore output is projected to grow to 185 MT in the next four years.

“We forecast India’s iron ore output to grow from 136 MT in 2017 to 185 MT in 2021,” said BMI Research, a unit of Fitch Group.

Earlier, iron ore output had taken a nosedive with an average contraction of 9.4 per cent y-o-y over 2012-2016 following mining bans in the three largest iron-ore producing states Goa, Odisha and Karnataka, which have since been lifted.

According to the IPA, iron ore handling shot up to 11.18 MT at Mormugao Port during the 10-month period from 2.29 MT a year-ago while Visakhapatnam Port handled 9.17 MT as against 4.39 MT.

In Paradip Port, iron ore cargo increased to 8.51 MT as against 2.27 MT during the corresponding period a year-ago.

India has 12 major ports — Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic.

Source: PTI

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