Jagatsinghpur (Orissa) : The export of iron ore from Orissa through Paradeep port has dropped to 50 percent in the past two months, port officials said Tuesday.
Every month, at least one million tonnes of iron ore were being exported through the port in Jagatsinghpur district before the economy was hit by a downturn.
“But the quantity of iron ore export has dropped to 50 percent during September and October,” port traffic manager Saroj Mishra told IANS.
Iron ore companies have cut down exports due to price sliding of steel in the international market, triggered by economic meltdown. Similarly, import of coking coal has also been dropped to 10 percent, another port trust official said.
The port handled a record 42.44 million tonnes of different materials, including iron ore, thermal coal and coking coal in 2007-08, surpassing the previous record of 38.52 million tonnes in 2006-07.
Iron ore exports through the port went up to 12.96 million tonnes in 2007-08 from 11.88 million tonnes in 2006-07.
“In 2008-09, we expected around 15 million tonnes of iron ore would be exported,” said Mishra. But the export figures in the last two months have cast shadows on this expectation, he added.