Cargo growth at the country’s major ports is all set to moderate to 3-5 per cent per annum over the next five years due to the “sedate pace” being logged in by its mainstay commodity, coal, says a report.
Container traffic will be driving the overall volume growth in the next five years with a 6-8 per cent per annum growth every year, said a Crisil report.
The port sector witnessed a compund annual growth rate of 4.4 per cent during the past five years, which is expected to fall to between 3 and 5 per cent, it added.
“The moderation would be mainly due to coal. Durign the past five years, port traffic growth was led by a surge in coal imports, especially at non-major ports,” it said.
The report said coal traffic will be “flattish” over the next five years due to a fall in imports, even as coastal traffic inches up due to increased domestic production.
Even as coal suffers the decline in growth, the container will cruise with a 6-8 per cent growth per year on an increase in exim trade and also new capacity additions at the nation’s largest container port JNPT, Ennore and Dhamra ports, the report said.
The report further said this will result in the share of coal in the overall pie to reduce to 19 per cent from the present 22 per cent. The faster paced growth in container traffic will result in its share go up to 19 per cent from the present 16 per cent.
The petroleum oil and lubricant segment, which accounts for 35 per cent volume, will grow at a subdued 1-3 per cent per annum over the next five years on a range-bound throughput at most refineries except Indian Oil’s Paradip and BPCL’s Kochi facilities, it said.
After the regulatory setbacks iron ore handling is expected to grow at a gradual pace of 2-4 per cent per annum, the report said.
Domestic ports should witness the capacity addition of 325-375 million tonne over the next five years, led by container terminals at JNPT and also the the upcoming transhipment terminal at Vizhinjam, it said.
However, the spate of capacity additions in the container segment will result in a drop in the capacity utilisation at terminals to 55 per cent from the present 61 per cent, it said.
“It is expected to see a slight recovery by fiscal 2022, aided by improvement in exim trade. Utilisation for the coal segment, too, is expected to decline as overall traffic growth remains flat,” it concluded.