Port Botany container trade growth continues in December

Sydney’s container trade volumes reached over 176,000 TEU in December 2009, the highest throughput for the month of December in Port Botany’s history – representing a 10.7% increase on the same period last year.
“Total container trade through Port Botany, reached over 993,000 TEU for the six months to 31 December 2009, a new record representing a 0.8 per cent increase on the corresponding period last year,” Sydney Ports Corporation chief executive officer Grant Gilfillan said.
“While we welcome these positive signs for Port Botany and NSW, we recognise the rest of the world economy has not fully recovered which may impact on trade results for the second half of the financial year.
“Container trade figures for the month of December show an increase in full import containers of 16.2% with the leading import regions being East Asia 47%, South East Asia 15% & Europe 14%.”
The top imported products for the year to December 2009 were Beverages (up 13%), which include beer, spirits, mineral water; miscellaneous manufactures (up 5.5%), which includes mobile phones, printers copiers, telecommunications & general power material and non-metallic minerals (up 99.3%) which includes cement, ceramic tiles and glassware.
Total full container imports for the six months to December 2009 reached over 496,000 TEU, up 1.3% on the corresponding period in the previous year.
According to leading economic forecaster BIS Shrapnel, the strength and confidence in the economy and household spending projections support the overall increases in trade, particularly the outlook for the housing market with alterations and additions to private dwellings and commercial developments supporting an increase in cement and other building materials.
Full container exports reached over 223,000 TEU, up 0.4% for the six months to December 2009 with the following commodities as key drivers in volume increases: cereals (up 59.8%), non-ferrous metals (up 31.4%) and waste paper (up 1.9%).
Cereal exports continue to have solid growth with favourable growing conditions in the Central and North West regions of NSW.
Non containerised imports decreased marginally to 6.3 million mass tonnes in the 6 months to December, due largely to reduced refined oil imports, however this was offset by crude oil imports which increased 11% to the same period last year.
Mr Gilfillan said Sydney Ports remained focussed on delivering on vital infrastructure such as the Port Botany Expansion which would double the handling capacity at the port to meet the projected long term trade growth for NSW.
“The project is on track with significant progress being made in the construction of the 1,850 metres of additional wharf face designed to cater for the larger 8,000 TEU container vessels.”

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