TRADE data issued by Fremantle Ports covering the first seven months of the financial year (July 2020-January 2021), shows Western Australians are continuing to buy a lot of furniture, household appliances and cars.

Agricultural and industrial machinery imports were also up more then 22% on the same period last year.

Full container imports were up about 3% with furniture up about 16% and household appliances up a huge 40%.

Full container exports are down about 14% due to wheat, hay and wastepaper exports being down.

As the eastern states are no longer in drought, exporters there have recovered overseas markets and more wheat is being exported from those states.

Overall, full container trade is down 3.7% on the same period last year with the total container trade (full and empties) only slightly down (0.8%).

Non-containerised trade has increased nearly 9% mainly due to imports of passenger and industrial vehicles, iron and steel product imports, and recreational equipment such as caravans, trailers, boats and motorbikes.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, used vehicles from the eastern states started being imported to WA more by ship and less by road and rail.

This trade is up a whopping 167% (almost 11,000 vehicles) but new motor vehicles are also up by nearly 14%.

Non-containerised Inner Harbour exports are slightly up with scrap metal up 48% but live sheep and cattle exports are significantly down (37% and 29% respectively).

Fremantle Ports’ bulk business trade at Kwinana Bulk Jetty and Kwinana Bulk Terminal was up nearly 10% but total port trade was down 9% as this figure includes the three private jetties in the Outer Harbour.

Less crude oil is being imported through the BP jetty and there was less grain exported through the CBH Group jetty.

Commercial ship visits to the Fremantle Inner Harbour have declined by 112 visits due to container vessels and car carriers decreasing by about 22% (57 visits) and 19% (23 visits) respectively.

The decline in container vessels has resulted from major shipping agent conglomeration and larger vessels causing a reduction of visits.

Another 32 fewer visits were mostly due to a decrease in livestock and cruise ship vessels.

Ship visits to the Outer Harbour have declined by 30 visits (about 8%) mostly due to fewer visits to BP (down 24) and CBH (down 10) jetties.