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Port of Vancouver reports 136 million t of cargo in 2016

Published by , Digital Assistant Editor
Dry Bulk,

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has released its 2016 year-end statistics for trade through the Port of Vancouver. Overall volume decreased slightly to 136 million t of cargo, down 1.8% from 2015. Sectors experiencing declines were offset by others that hit new records, including the bulk grain sector.

"One of our biggest strengths has been, and continues to be, the port's ability to accommodate the most diversified range of cargo of any port in North America," said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. "Since 2013, the Port of Vancouver has experienced its fourth consecutive year of traffic volumes over 135 million t, despite global economic downturns. Thanks to the confidence that port users and terminal operators have shown in the Vancouver gateway, combined with our focus on infrastructure development and sustainability, the Port of Vancouver is well-positioned for continued growth. We are pleased that investments are already underway to build capacity for this growth in multiple sectors."

This is the Port of Vancouver's third consecutive year of record volumes in bulk grain and its fifth year of an upward trend. Bulk grain export volumes through the port increased 1.3% from 2015, to reach 21.8 million metric t in 2016. Strong global demand for Canadian agriculture was met with a bumper crop in Canada and increased exports of grain through the Port of Vancouver.

"The continued growth in grain volumes through the Port of Vancouver demonstrates the strong reputation of Canadian grain and reflects the expansion plans we are seeing for this commodity in particular," continued Robin Silvester. "Demand for Canadian grain from many countries is being met by farmers across Canada and by terminals who continue to invest in new technology."

Record bulk grain exports were driven by higher volumes of canola and specialty crop exports, which are up by 18.9% and 17.9% respectively. This growth was offset by a 16.4% decrease in wheat exports due to adverse weather conditions.

Containerised exports increased by 3.3% due to growth in woodpulp, grain and food and agri-product shipments.

The weak Canadian dollar and a slowdown in industry investment and development activity in western Canada was reflected in the 17.2% decline in metal and project cargo imports in 2016. A 22% drop in breakbulk lumber and wood pulp also contributed to a decline in overall import and export breakbulk volumes.

Metallurgical coal volumes increased 1.8% in 2016 due to a 64.3% increase in exports to India and sustained demand from Japan, China, and South Korea. Overall coal volumes are down by 6.1% in 2016, due to a 28.2% decrease in thermal coal exports.

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Dry bulk shipping market