Weak dollar boosts Port Botany trade

Declining Australian dollar has led to almost 20 percent surge in export activity at Port Botany this financial year

A declining Australian dollar has led to almost 20 percent surge in export activity at Port Botany in the first half of the 2008-2009 financial year.

Full container exports increased 18.2 percent, leading Minister for Ports and Waterways Joe Tripodi to say the global economic downturn has been good news for sections of the industry.

"The depreciation of the Australian dollar has improved the competitive position of NSW firms, which in turn has contributed to the growth in exports," Tripodi says.

"One standout export adding to the growth is from the timber industry, with demand from China boosting timber exports by 240 percent."

Cereal exports to Indonesia were the next highest performing commodity, with the port experiencing a 70 percent increase in demand.

Total container trade through Port Botany, including imports, increased 8.7 percent compared to the July to December period in 2007.

Full container exports to eight countries increased by more than 20 percent, with East Asia dominating the list of importers. This is followed by Europe and South East Asia.

Despite the positive results, Tripodi says the next six months will give the NSW Government a better indication on the impact the financial crisis has had.

However, he says lower interest rates combined with the Rudd Government’s economic stimulus package will help reduce any impact the crisis has on trade levels.

China accepts more than 80 percent of waste paper exports, and 21 percent of all meat exported from Port Botany is consumed by the US.

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