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Port cargo volumes to grow 6 – 8 per cent in FY25

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Containers and coal shipments are expected to support cargo volume growth at the ports in FY25 by 6 -8 per cent. In the first 10 months of FY2024, cargo volumes witnessed a 7.6 per cent growth.

Cargo volumes at the ports are expected to grow by 7-8 per cent in the current fiscal and volumes in FY2025 to grow by 6-8 per cent. This will be driven by healthy growth in the container and coal segments; slowdown in global economic growth and/or geo-political tensions impacting trade volumes are the key risks, according to ICRA.

In 10M FY2024, cargo volumes witnessed a 7.6 per cent growth after growing 8.3 per cent in FY2023. Coal and container volumes have grown at a healthy pace of 8.4 per cent and 10.5 per cent respectively, although container volumes have witnessed slowdown amid the Red Sea crisis in the last couple of months. Petroleum product volumes witnessed modest growth.

Going forward in FY2025, volume growth of 6-8 per cent is expected, supported by continued healthy coal imports, while container segment growth is expected to moderate amid the Red Sea crisis resulting in elevated freight rates.

Further, new projects are also being awarded in line with growth envisioned in Maritime Vision 2030. A large capex has been planned for the next decade to augment port capacity and infrastructure. Project execution is expected to pick up pace, going forward. Aggressive capacity additions may lead to supply-demand mismatches in a few clusters leading to increased competition and pricing pressure for ports in those clusters. The sector witnessed consolidation in the last few years with acquisition of smaller or standalone players by larger groups and this consolidation trend in the sector is expected to continue.

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