Logistics News, Port News

Port of Newcastle reveals diversified 2023 trade results

Changes in demand and weather has had an impact on the Port of Newcastle’s trade results from 2023

The Port of Newcastle has released its 2023 trade results, with a shift in weather and demand having a significant impact on its numbers. 

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody says the overall trade figure, which contributed $48 billion to the economy, is not representative of a reduction in import and export volumes across its trade. 

“Overall, the Port of Newcastle had an increase of almost five per cent on total trade volume, which can be attributed to the return of China to the Australian coal market, representing a quarter of all coal exports,” Carmody says. 

“The Port’s exposure to carrying volume risk is evident – if China did not lift their restrictions, the Port’s volumes would have been the lowest experienced in several years.  

“For the Port of Newcastle and our region, we need to ensure we continue down our path of diversification.  

“Last year’s results highlight how we cannot continue to rely on a single commodity, we cannot wait and relive what occurred when the steel industry left Newcastle.” 

Port of Newcastle business development executive manager Matthew Swan says a reduction in diversified trade export volumes reflected the current challenges facing the market. 

“After three years of ideal harvest conditions for agribusiness, the shift to El Nino has had a direct impact on our farmers, with wheat exports down 34 per cent to 1.7 million tonnes while volumes subdued for CY2024,” Swan says.  

“It’s the first-time wheat has been under two million tonnes since 2021. 

“Meals and grain exports continued to perform well, with a 31 per cent increase in volumes, and mineral concentrates experienced modest growth, with a total 397,000 tonnes exported.” 

The port says the 2023 figures come at a time when it has been vocal in the need for Newcastle to accelerate diversification. 

“2024 will be a year of consolidation and focus, one that focuses on expanding our existing container trade relationships and supporting wind and solar energy projects, along with the development of the Clean Energy Precinct,” Carmody says. 

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