Congestion at Kandla Port: Soyameal exports hit

| | Updated on: Oct 31, 2012

Soyameal exporters are facing the brunt of congestion at Kandla Port — a key exit point for agri-exports. This is because soyameal cargo lacks priority status at the port and has to share berths with other agri-commodities.

Besides, a surge in shipment of rice and wheat has added to the soyameal shippers’ woes. The increased traffic has resulted in a longer wait time. The exporters say if the trend continues, it could further hurt them.

“The waiting time has increased to 12-15 days, from the earlier 3-4 days as there is only one berth available for other agri-products including soyameal at the port. The port has dedicated berths for wheat and rice ,” said Rajesh Agarwal, spokesperson for The Soyabean Processors Association of India (SOPA). Agarwal says the lack of a dedicated berth or a priority status for soyameal cargo at the port is hurting business. As a result, some of the shipments are being routed through JNPT and Mundra Port.

However, H.C.Venkatesh, Traffic Manager at Kandla Port says such temporary congestions are routine. At present, nearly 30 vessels are waiting for cargo at the Kandla Port, of which eight are waiting for rice to be loaded.

Ever since the Government opened up shipments of rice and wheat from September last year, India has emerged as a major exporter of rice, wheat, sugar and cotton in the world market. In the past 13 months, India has exported over 10 million tonnes of rice, 3.5 mt of wheat, about 3 mt of sugar and 80 lakh cotton bales.

> vishwanath.kulkarni@thehindu.co.in

Published on October 31, 2012

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