The volume of containers handled by major ports in India fell 1.71 percent year-over-year in the first two months of fiscal 2012-13, the Indian Ports Association said in a statement on Monday.
Total box traffic during April to May was estimated at 1.29 million 20-foot-equivalent units, compared with 1.32 million tons a year earlier. The tonnage of containerized volume grew 2.26 percent to 20.32 million tons from 19.9 million tons.
Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), the country’s top container port, handled 731,000 TEUs, down about 1 percent from 740,000 TEUs in the same period last year.
Traffic via Chennai Port dropped 4 percent to 263,000 TEUs from 273,000 TEUs. Kolkata handled 97,000 TEUs, up from 91,000 TEUs. Tuticorin moved 72,000 TEUs, down from 80,000 TEUs. Cochin’s traffic decreased to 45,000 TEUs from 56,000 TEUs.
The IPA said overall cargo tonnage at major ports during April to May fell 5.7 percent to 94 million tons from 99.7 million tons a year earlier.
Kandla emerged as the top cargo handler with throughput of 13.7 million tons, followed by Nehru, at 11.3 million tons; Mumbai, at 10.8 million tons; Visakhapatnam, at 10 million tons; and Chennai, at 8.7 million tons.
For fiscal 2011-12, which ended March 31, India’s ocean trade via major ports was estimated at 560 million tons, down 1.73 percent from 570 million tons the previous year. Container traffic rose 3 percent to 7.77 million TEUs from 7.54 million TEUs.
Meanwhile, the Indian Commerce Ministry announced a “seven-point export strategy” aimed at boosting the country’s outbound trade volume to $360 billion in 2012-13 and to $500 billion by 2013-14.
“We will watch global economic developments closely and shall intervene effectively to ensure that Indian exports stay well on course for achieving the targets," Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said.
India's exports grew 21 percent year-over-year in 2011-12 to $303.7 billion, but the pace of expansion slowed to 3.2 percent in April in the face of demand depression in major global markets.