“Countries such as China, New Zealand, Japan and the United States continue to be the main consumers of these local products,” said Sydney Ports Corporation CEO, Grant Gilfillan.
Despite the global economic downturn, total container trade through Port Botany reached a record 1.78m teus, up 0.3% compared to the previous financial year. This included a record monthly throughput of 168,000 teus in November 2008.
The depreciation of the Australian dollar in the first half of the financial year also improved the competitive position of businesses in New South Wales, which in turn has contributed to the growth in exports.
Mr Gilfillan said that while the first six months of the financial year showed strong overall container trade growth, the second half reflected the influence of the global economic slowdown.
“The global slowdown will still pose a challenge for Sydney over next 12 months, but with increased investment in infrastructure, such as the AUS$1bn Port Botany expansion, Sydney Ports will be well placed to take advantage once the market improves,” said Gilfillan.
“Total trade for the financial year to 30 June 2009 was 27.8m tonnes, a 4.7% decrease compared to the same period last year. This was mainly as a result of the cessation of the motor vehicle trade through Glebe Island in November and the reduction in crude oil imports,” he said.
Top exports from the Port were cereals (including wheat and barley) mostly to Indonesia (+54.6%); timber to China (+71.3%); and machinery and transport equipment (24.3%)
The leading import regions, again for machinery and transport equipment, chemical products and paper, were dominated by East Asia (44%); Europe (17%); South East Asia (15%).