THE PORT of Townsville has released its half-yearly trade update and at the halfway mark in the financial year it has delivered positive trade results. 

To the end of the second quarter, throughput at the Townsville and Lucinda ports totalled 4.1 million tonnes, with 1.3 million tonnes imported and 2.8 million tonnes exported.

Some strong performers have delivered a positive outlook for growers, miners and car retailers across the region.

Here’s a wrap up of some of the half-year trade highlights. 

Motor vehicle imports performed 36.8% higher than the same period last year, prompting the port to raise its expectations for the full financial year to more than 18,500 vehicles arriving through Townsville. 

Indonesia has become a top export market for raw sugar, increasing 67% on the same period last year.

On-budget exports to Japan and South Korea, and a 10-year high for raw sugar prices was good news for growers across the Burdekin and Hinchinbrook regions.

More than 90,000 head of cattle were exported via Townsville to the end of the second quarter, more than doubling (by 131.6%) the volume for the same period last year. 

With cattle prices stabilising and Indonesia lifting its ban on Australian cattle the Port of Townsville has raised its annual forecast to 140,000 head. 

Relatively new commodities trading through the Port of Townsville have started to hit their stride with exports of phosphate rock two-a-half times higher than the same period last year, while aquaculture feed surged 70% year to date and exports of sorghum grain almost doubled on the same period last year. 

Port of Townsville general manager customer, operations and safety Drew Penny said it was typical for seasonal factors to produce a strong start to the year for some trades and a slower one for others. 

“As north Australia’s largest multi-cargo port, Townsville is accustomed to seeing products such as sugar and molasses perform well at the start of the financial year, and drop off at the end of the season, making way for an uptick in other trades,” Mr Penny said. 

“It’s promising to see some of our newer commodities finding their footing as production ramps up on phosphate rock and bulk grain handler Sizer & Cogill begins to utilise their new depot at Mount McLaren to help local growers reach international markets via Townsville. 

Resources and critical minerals minister and member for Townsville Scott Stewart said phosphate was an incredibly important material and there was a huge demand for it throughout the world and North Queensland was ready to take advantage of that.