June 2 - According to a report in the Hindu Business Line, the slowdown in the manufacturing sector is hitting throughput of project cargoes at Chennai, one of India's largest project cargo handling ports.

The report indicate that whilst 2007-08 was a bumper year with a record throughput, in 2008-09, the port's throughput of project cargoes, such as large machinery and boilers for various industrial units, dropped by nearly 68% to 86,332 tonnes.

Mr K Suresh, chairman of Chennai Port Trust is quoted as saying that: "It is a reflection of the market slowdown," and that there was a drop in imports and exports of project cargoes by a number of large manufacturing units located in and around Chennai.

The report suggests that the diversion of certain kind of traffic was another reason and that traditionally, whilst Chennai port had been a major exporter of wind turbine blades to various European countries, one of the major exporters of this item diverted shipments through New Mangalore port in the second half of last financial year, resulting in a fall in throughput at Chennai port.

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