CARGO throughput at Newcastle for August hit the highest point since December 2019, according to the latest available trade statistics from the port.

Total throughput at the port in August totalled 15.6 tonnes, a 32% increase on the previous month’s figures and 7% up on August 2019.

Breaking August’s throughput down, the port handled 402,452 tonnes of imports, with the largest category being fuels (142,581 tonnes), followed by alumina (121,056 tonnes) with fertiliser a distant third place (32,019 tonnes).

It should come as no surprise that coal was by far the port’s largest commodity trade for the month, making up 97% of the port’s total monthly throughput by volume and 68% of the month’s total trade value for the month ($AU $1870m). A total of 15.1m tonnes of coal were exported, which was up 34% on July’s total of 11.3m tonnes.

Destinations for Newcastle’s coal output included Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Caledonia, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam.

Other exports of note included concentrates (250,953 tonnes), all of which were China-bound and other trade (123,369 tonnes). According to the report, other trade is said to consist of ammonia, ammonium nitrate, animal foods, coke products, scrap steel, vegetable oils and miscellaneous general cargo.

There were 211 vessel visits to Newcastle throughout August, with 166 of these visits (or 79%) being coal vessels. The remaining 45 vessels to call at the port were non-coal vessels.