21 July 2006 -
Trade though Port Kembla grew six per cent last year, giving the port its best result in almost a decade, Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said today.
Mr Tripodi said he was delighted at the strong result, which included the Port Corporation's best-ever steel throughput.
'Total trade through Port Kembla in 2005-06 reached 25.9 million tonnes, six per cent up on the previous year,' Mr Tripodi said.
This result represented $4 billion worth of trade and was the best result since 1997-98.
Steel related products (iron ore imports and steel products exports) led the way with a significant throughput of 11.3 million tonnes, up nine per cent on the previous year the best ever result for the Port Corporation for these products.
Overall, this result highlights the continued strength of traditional commodities such as iron ore, coal and grain products.
Coal exports experienced an increase in trade to 10.9 million tonnes, the highest level since 1997/98.
This strong result coincides with the loading of the Port Kembla Coal Terminal's 250 millionth tonne in January 2006.
Grain exports showed some signs of improvement despite the drought, reaching an export level of 1.6 million tonnes, up from 1.2 million tonnes.
Member for Wollongong Noreen Hay said the growth pointed to a strong future.
The State Government is committed to supporting continued growth at Port Kembla which is already benefiting from the Ports Growth Plan,' Ms Hay said.
This year's strong trade results are an indication of the times to come as the Port Kembla Port Corporation enters a new phase of its development.
We are pleased with the continued growth in the traditional commodities of iron ore, coal and grain and look forward to even stronger results in the coming years with the further diversification of the trade base to accommodate car imports.