Cargo handled by the 12 major ports declined 4.59 per cent to 672.606 million tonnes (mt) in FY21, the lowest in three years, as demand destruction triggered by the pandemic pulled down traffic from 704.927 mt last year.

Container volumes handled by the dozen ports declined 3.75 per cent to 9.611 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from 9.985 million TEUs last year, also the lowest in three years.

Thermal and coking coal shipments declined 15.44 per cent and 5.22 per cent to 78.024 mt and 54.061 mt respectively, from 92.276 mt and 57.036 mt.

Iron ore, including pellets, jumped 29.12 per cent to 71.027 mt from 55.010 mt.

Finished fertiliser cargo rose 11.34 per cent to 10.378 mt from 9.321 mt, while raw fertiliser increased by 14.69 per cent to 7.572 mt from 6.602 mt.

Petroleum, oil and lubricants declined 12.82 per cent to 206.754 mt from 237.166 mt.

Deendayal Port Trust emerged the top port by cargo volumes, handling 117.558 mt of cargo, a drop of 4.12 per cent from the 122.606 mt handled last year.

Paradip Port Trust handled 114.549 mt, 1.65 per cent more than the 112.689 mt last year.

Mormugao Port Trust posted the highest growth rate at 37.06 per cent to 21.953 mt from 16.017 mt.

Except Paradip and Mormugao, the other ports registered volume declines.