Logistics

For Pipavav port, coal is gold, not fertiliser or foodgrain

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on August 02, 2013

KHAMMAM_(ANDHRA PRADESH)_ A view of Coal production at an open cast mine at Yellandu in Khammam District on Monday. PHOTO_G_N_RAO;KHAMMAM_(ANDHRA PRADESH)_ A view of Coal production at an open cast mine at Yellandu in Khammam District on Monday. PHOTO_G_N_RAO - KHAMMAM_(ANDHRA PRADESH)_ A view of Coal production at an open cast mine at Yellandu in Khammam District on Monday. PHOTO_G_N_RAO



Pipavav port may get Rs 900-1,000 for handling one tonne of wheat and Rs 375-425 for a tonne of fertiliser, but only Rs 250-275 from a tonne of coal. Yet, the port prefers to ferry coal because handling one tonne of coal/mineral is more profitable.

The pecking order gets reversed from a margins perspective. The maximum margins come from a tonne of coal or minerals, followed by fertiliser and agri-products (foodgrains are included in agri-products).

“This is because of the kind of handling required for each of these commodities,” Hariharan Iyer, CFO, Pipavav Port, told Business Line.

Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd, operated by APM Terminals, is a listed firm, and the company operates with a brand of APM Terminals Pipavav. For the quarter ended June, Pipavav handled 1.018 million tonne of bulk cargo, which is the highest volume of bulk cargo handled by the company during a quarter.

“Of the total bulk cargo, 480,000 tonne (47 per cent) was coal and 200,000 (almost 20 per cent) tonne was fertiliser,” said Iyer.

“The current realisation from bulk commodities is Rs 350-380 a tonne,” Iyer said, declining to share the break-up of earnings from each commodity.

Coal, minerals (limestone), fertiliser, agri-products (foodgrains) are the key bulk commodities handled by APM Terminals Pipavav.

The share of commodities handled in the port vary by season, market demand, and Government policies such as permission to export wheat.

During the quarter ended June, bulk cargo handled at Pipavav port went up 77 per cent over the January-March period, while the container volumes were down by 11 per cent.

APM Terminals Pipavav has recorded revenues in the range of Rs 5,000/TEU (twenty feet equivalent unit), which is a standard unit size used to measure containers. The company does not record revenues from containers on a per tonne basis.

“We bill each container on a TEU basis. We do not weigh the containers,” Iyer added.

The port has benefited from the recent rupee depreciation for its container cargo handled, as the billing is done in dollars.

“But for the bulk cargo handled in the port, the billing is rupee-denominated, with only the marine revenues being dollar-denominated. Marine revenues typically form about 15 per cent of the total billing from bulk handling,” said Iyer.

mamuni.das@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 01, 2013

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