However, growth has fallen short of the 580-million tonne target set by the government for the previous fiscal
Cargo traffic handled by the top 12 major ports grew by 5.68% to 560.68 million tonnes (MT) in the just-concluded fiscal against 530.35MT in 2008-09, indicating revival in exports as the world economy started to recover from the impact of the global financial meltdown.
“Our 12 major ports handled 560.68MT (of) cargo traffic in 2009-10, registering a growth of 5.68%. This shows buoyant growth in our maritime trade, coupled with indications of revival in exports,” joint shipping secretary Rakesh Srivastava told PTI today. He, however, admitted that this growth is 3.5% short of the 580-MT target set by the ministry for the fiscal year.
The 12 state-owned major ports—Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Kolkata (with Haldia), Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Cochin, Paradip, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Ennore, Tuticorin and Kandla had handled 530.35MT of cargo in 2008-09.
Mr Srivastava said though the traffic handled in 2009-10 fell short by 3.5% from meeting the 580-MT target set by the ministry for the fiscal, the growth was satisfactory given the adverse circumstances that the maritime trade faced in the wake of the global economic crisis.
The 5.68% growth during the past fiscal, he said, is more than double the mere 2.13% increase in port traffic reported in 2008-09.
The rise in port traffic during the last fiscal was triggered by a 21.02% jump in cargo growth to 78.22MT, coupled with a 6.25% rise in iron ore traffic, which increased to 102MT, the joint secretary said.
Most of the commodities handled by these ports reported growth in the last fiscal year, compared with the previous year, barring petroleum, oil & lubricants (POL), which declined by a hefty 37% to 197.21MT, the secretary said, adding that container traffic, which was hit directly earlier due to the global financial meltdown, grew by 4.32% in the reporting fiscal.
During 2007-08, cargo traffic had grown by 11.94% at 519.15MT over 463.78MT in 2006-07.