Overseas cargo handled at major ports increased by 10.2 per cent to 546.88 mt during April-February 2022-23 from 496.45 mt during April-February 2021-22, according to data from the ministry of ports, shipping, and waterways (MoPSW).
Coastal cargo handled at major ports increased by 7.1 per cent to 164.67 mt during FY23, from 153.70 mt during April-February, 2021-22.
So far, in this financial year, imported and other unclassified coal has seen a spike of 89 per cent during the fiscal, while domestic thermal coal volumes grew by 21 per cent. Crude oil cargo also saw a growth of 13 per cent.
Among the major drivers of coal demand is the country’s power generation sector which is again bracing for record high electricity demand in the upcoming summer months.
The Centre has also directed states to import thermal coal to meet the shortfall. Additionally, non-power sectors especially steel and manufacturing are witnessing an uptick in business which is also pushing demand for both coking and non-coking coal.
Experts believe these numbers are likely to maintain an elevated level as more coal is moved through the rail-sea-rail (RSR) route over the rail route in the coming months.
Crude oil imports have been rising ever since sanctions-hit Russia offered its oil with deep discounts. India imported about 51 million barrels of crude oil from Russia in February, 16 per cent higher than the 44 million barrels imported in January. Meanwhile, the international trade outlook remains grim, which is likely to impact movement of finished goods.
In containers, India saw a year-on-year price dip of 50 per cent from $4,237 in March 2022 to $2,127 in March 2023. Despite growth in all segments and added handling capacity at key ports such as Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) and Deendayal Port (DPT), container cargo had a near-negligible growth in FY23.