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Port dishes up record year for food and grain

Page last updated on 18-10-2022.

Port dishes up record year for food and grain

17th October 2022

A record year for food and grain exports is among the trade highlights that contributed to a substantial profit increase at the Port of Townsville in the last financial year.

In 2021-22, the Port of Townsville delivered an impressive operating result of $17.5 million, up 22.11 per cent on the previous year.

While overall trade of 7.23 million tonnes remains lower than pre-pandemic levels, the Port’s diverse trade capabilities bolstered its resilience in the face of ongoing supply chain disruptions and commodity market changes.

Port of Townsville Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said trade dips in some of the Port’s major commodities were offset by new and emerging opportunities.

“We are experiencing a diversification of agricultural products being exported from Townsville, as containerised exports pick up,” Ms Crosby said.

“Overall, there was a 25 per cent increase in food and grain exported from Townsville, which included strong growth in mung beans (55%) and sorghum (32%) and the return of soybean exports after a few years’ hiatus.

“Other big movers included general chemical products (62%), molasses (29%), general mining cargo (25%) and petroleum products (20.5%).

“Additionally, we completed Townsville’s first transhipment of motor vehicles, connecting 521 new cars to southern ports.”

The Port and its customers were challenged by the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the global geopolitical climate and changes in Australia’s mineral concentrates market. Seasonal factors reduced export figures for live cattle, sugar and fertiliser, while mining and minerals customers took advantage of domestic markets rather than exporting, creating a positive flow on effect for the region.

The majority of the Port’s $40.39 million capital expenditure in 2021-22 was assigned to the ongoing Channel Upgrade project, which forms stage one of a 30-year, $1.6 billion Port Expansion Project.

Ms Crosby said the necessity of the Port Expansion Project was underscored by several pipeline projects the Port is exploring with existing and potential customers.

“We are collaborating with a number of stakeholders on potential new projects that will drive significant economic growth for our region,” Ms Crosby said.

“These projects in rare earth and critical minerals, batteries, biomass, hydrogen and other renewable energy will contribute significantly to the world’s climate ambitions and transition to a clean energy future.”

Throughout the year, the Port of Townsville also received its third Australian Port of the Year Award since 2015.

Highlights from the Port of Townsville’s 2021-22 Annual Report
  • The Port of Townsville delivered a strong operating result of $17.5 million in 2021-22, up 22.11 per cent from $14.3 million the previous year.
  • Overall trade remained steady at 7.23 million tonnes in 2021/22, compared with 7.7 million tonnes the previous year.
  • Some of the biggest year-to-year trade increases occurred in the following commodities:
    • General chemical products (62%)
    • Petroleum products (20.5%)
    • Food and grain (25%)
    • General mining cargo (25%)
    • Molasses (29%)
  • Petroleum-based products increases 14.5 per cent from the year prior.
    • A major increase in jet fuel (47%) signified the return of air travel,
    • Increased diesel imports (16%) were fed by demand from new mines in the Bowen Basin and North West Minerals Province.
  • Significant year-on-year trade decreases occurred for livestock (-74%) and agricultural chemicals (-27%)

Read the Port of Townsville's Annual Report 2021-22.