Export growth was fuelled by sustained increased global demand for agricultural commodities, particularly cotton (up 22.6%), cereals (up 15%) and beef (up 4.1%), while refined oil (up 12.6%) also experienced solid growth compared to the previous financial year.
Import growth was again driven by Queensland’s demand for motor vehicles, with car imports up 11.8% for the financial year. Demand for building products (up 4.6%) and retail commodities (up 4.6%) was supported by continued strength in the Australian dollar and signs of growth in domestic consumer confidence.
Traditional export destinations such as China, Taiwan, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore continued to dominate with demand for agricultural seeds, beef, cotton, coal and refined oil products. Beef exports to China, in particular, increased significantly as Chinese demand for this commodity exceeded that of South Korea.
China and Malaysia were the Port’s dominant import markets for the financial year, while Indonesia recorded strong growth during the period.
Brisbane ranks 106th in CM’s World Top Container Ports and construction of the port’s newest container facilities, Berths 11 and 12, is progressing on schedule and are scheduled to be operational in late 2013 and 2014 respectively, providing a total quay length of 660 m and an area of 26 ha. When they are both fully operational, they will increase the port’s throughput capacity by around 25%.
Meanwhile, a A$250m expansion of DP World’s container handling facilities in Brisbane is focused on switching landside operations to ASCs and the semi-automation of waterside operations. The first stage of this development is due for completion by the end of 2013 and the change of mode will take the terminal’s capacity to approximately 850,000 teu a year.
By 2014, Brisbane will be the first port in Australia where all stevedores – in this case Patrick, DP World and HPH – have automated container handling equipment.