Cargo volumes at Indian Ports fall most in at least two years in October

Cargo handled by Indian ports fell the most in at least two years in October as volumes of coal and other cargo products declined.

Ports across the country handled 569.5 lakh tonnes of cargo last month, a drop of more than 5 percent over October 2018, Goldman Sachs said in a report. Container, coal and “other cargo products” together contribute more than half of the total cargo volumes at Indian ports.

Coal volumes fell 30 percent year-on-year—the most in at least two years—to 103 lakh tonnes in October. That’s also the sixth straight month of decline in coal volumes, impacted by heavy rains, labour issues and lack of demand for steel.

Container volumes and liquid cargo—oil and gas related products—remained flat. That, according to Goldman Sachs, may impact Adani Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd., Container Corporation of India Ltd. and Gujarat Pipapav Port Ltd. The investment banker has a ‘buy’ on Adani Ports and a ‘neutral’ rating on the other two.

Iron ore and fertilizer volumes rose for five months in a row. Iron ore volumes increased 60.5 percent—the most in two months. Fertilizer volumes more than doubled over last year, which is the biggest jump in 10 months. Together, they account for one-tenth of the total cargo volumes.