Data | Railway freight declined by 27% between April and June; coal and cement worst hit

Freight being unloaded onto wagons at the yard in Visakhapatnam on July 7.  

The amount of raft freight transported can serve as an early indicator of India's economic health. Between April and June of FY2021, goods transported fell drastically due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

Commodities such as coal and cement were the worst hit while the transport of foodgrains and fertilizers saw significant increases. This drop may further hit the already maligned Railways' balance sheets.

Sharp drop in goods carried

The graph shows the y-o-y % change in Net Tonne Kilometre (NTKM) of freight carried in the April-June and April-August periods across years. One NTKM is the net weight of goods carried for a kilometre.

The freight carried declined by 27% y-o-y in the April-June period in FY2021. The decline was arrested to an extent in July and August. The freight carried declined by 18% y-o-y in the April-August period, 9% points lower than April-June.


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Commodity-wise change in freight

The graph shows the % change in NTKM of freight carried in FY2021 compared to the FY2011-2020 average. The comparison is done for two periods: April to June and April to August.


For instance, in April to June, the amount of coal transported declined by 42% in FY2021 compared to the FY2011-2020 average. Whereas in April-August, it declined by 36% in FY21 compared to the FY11-20 average. This means that the decline was arrested to an extent in July and August.

Compared to the average, the amount of foodgrains transported increased by over 40% in FY21 due to various food security measures introduced by the government during the lockdown.

Rail trouble

The graph shows the revenue earned and the working expenses incurred by the Railways during the April-May period across years. While the revenue earned significantly reduced, the expenses incurred recorded only a marginal decline.


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Printable version | May 19, 2021 9:11:20 AM |

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