India's overall cargo traffic at its ports (both major and minor) is expected to grow to 985.20 million tonne or 5.9 per cent in 2012-13. In 2011-12, overall cargo traffic grew by 5.1 per cent.
This was mainly supported by a sharp 17.5 per cent year on year (YoY) traffic growth in minor ports, while major ports witnessed a decline in traffic by 1.7 per cent, mainly due to lower iron ore cargo.
Cargo traffic at major ports may grow 4.2 per cent in 2012-13. Economic think-tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has said in its August bulletin that although traffic in April-June reflects a 5.5 per cent decline, it expects traffic of coal to rise sharply as the year progresses due to demand from steel and cement sectors.
A slight improvement in global economic scenario towards the year end is likely to result in a healthy increase in the traffic of containers. The Union Ministry of Mining is seeking a roll back of 30 per cent export duty on iron ore which could also spur iron ore exports.
Cargo traffic at minor ports is expected to grow by a much faster 8.5 per cent. Between 2007-08 and 2011-12, traffic at major ports grew only 1.9 per cent while on the other hand, traffic at minor ports grew a healthy 16.1 per cent per annum.