Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004
Industry & Economy - Exports & Imports
Agri-Biz & Commodities - Metals
JNPT to suspend import handling of metal scrap
New Delhi , Aug. 2
FACED with an unprecedented growth in import of metal scrap destined for Concor's inland container depot (ICD) in Ludhiana, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has decided to suspend handling of import rail containers carrying iron/steel scrap from September 15 for an initial period of two months, the port trust has announced in a notice issued on Monday.
Import containers carrying metal scrap will not be handled at both JN port terminals Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT) and Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT).
According to the notice, the step was taken in the wake of representations received by the port management, to relieve congestion, improve service levels and ensure smooth operations at the JN port.
Port officials said that there has been a 135 per cent increase this fiscal in import boxes bringing iron/steel scrap destined for Ludhiana over the corresponding period last year.
"This un-warranted, un-planned and hap-hazard import of metal scrap is something out of the ordinary", says a Concor official.
"Apart from adding to the congestion at the JN port, the un-warranted import of metal scrap is also hampering the domestic trade besides having a backward cascading effect on loading ports as well. International trade will be affected due to pile up of boxes at loading ports", a port official said.
Port officials reckon that the drastic increase in import of metal scrap meant for northern Punjab may be due to sudden drop in cost of steel in the global market.
"As a result, Indian buyers are getting scrap at damn cheap prices in the global market than is available locally. With costs on a downward slide, consignees are also not interested in clearing the consignment from the port premises by paying ground rent, accentuating congestion", the official disclosed.
The notice advises shipping lines to refrain from booking and loading any laden container carrying iron/steel scrap, as commodity described in any manner, from any load port for discharge at the JN port, with effect from August 15.
It adds that containers carrying iron/steel scrap imported from any port of loading and designated for delivery from the JN port by rail movement to any ICD destination, will not be unloaded from any vessel calling at the port with effect from September 15.
"This will be done for an initial period of two months. Thereafter, the decision will be reviewed by the port trust," the official said.
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