BIG volumes of containers continued to cross the wharves at Port Botany last month, with significant increases in exports, according to the latest trade data released by NSW Ports.

In July, Port Botany handled a total of 238,262 TEU – a 16% increase on July last year.

Exports were up by 26% on July 2020 to 116,892 TEU. The port’s biggest export commodity was fresh Sydney air, with 69,670 TEU of empty containers exported over the month, representing an increase of 23% on the same month last year. Full exports were up 31% to 47,222 TEU last month.

Outside of empties, the biggest containerised export commodity through the port was vegetable products, with 7964 TEU exported. This was followed by paper, paper products and wastepaper (6087 TEU); iron, steel, aluminium and other metals (5945 TEU); and foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (5711 TEU).

Last month’s imports were also up on July 2020, but not as much as exports. Port Botany handled a total of 121,370 TEU of imports over the month – an increase of 8%. The vast majority of this was full containers, with just 1335 TEU of empties imported over the month.

The biggest containerised imported commodity for the month was machinery, with 18,715 TEU imported. This was followed by miscellaneous manufactured articles (18,188 TEU); plastic and rubber (13,378 TEU); and foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (12,731 TEU).

A total of 83 containerships visited Port Botany last month, up from 81 in July 2020. Looking at size, the TEU band with the most visits over the month was the 5001-6000 TEU range with 19 vessel visits. The next biggest was the 4001-5000 TEU band with 15 visits. This was followed by the 2001-3000 TEU band with 13 visits, the 1001-2000 TEU band with 11, and the 8001-9000 TEU band with 10 visits. One ship in the 10,001 TEU or more band visited over the month.

Non-containerised trade

Non-containerised trade at Port Botany also saw increases. NSW Ports reported 456,013 revenue tonnes of total cargo for July 2021, an increase of 9% on the same month last year. The lion’s share of the non-containerised cargo that came through the port was bulk liquid imports – 334,088 revenue tonnes of bulk liquids were imported, an increase of 7% on July 2020.

And Port Kembla also saw increases in cargo in July. The port handled a total of 2.18 million revenue tonnes over the month, an increase of 4% on the July 2020. The only cargo type that saw an increase over the period was ro-ro, which increased 87% to 551,301 revenue tonnes.

When measured by units, Port Kembla’s total ro-ro throughput increased by 71% to 35,268 units in July. Nearly all of this was imports of motor vehicles. Over the month, 32,909 units crossed the wharves at Kembla, an increase of 79% on July last year.