Wheat exports resume at Newcastle
Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi today welcomed the resumption of major wheat exports from Newcastle after a lengthy hiatus because of the drought.
Mr Tripodi said recent drought conditions in NSW rural areas had resulted in no major export of wheat since April 2007.
“Wheat is usually one of the main commodity exports from the port, but the only wheat shipped out of Newcastle lately was a small load of 3,675 tonnes in mid-November,” Mr Tripodi said.
“It’s good to see the Newcastle Grain Terminal once again loading Australian wheat for the export market and we look forward to continued shipments in the New Year.”
Grain Corp advised today that about 27,000 tonnes of wheat was being loaded aboard the Energy Star.
The vessel is due to sail tomorrow night for Port Lincoln in South Australia to take on more grain before heading to the Middle East.
Grain shipments from Newcastle are usually one of the main trade throughputs but drought conditions have had a significant impact on recent exports.
Mr Tripodi said only 18,189 tonnes of barley was exported in 2007-08 while 150,726 tonnes of grain was imported.
This compares to 793,000 tonnes of grain exported in 2006-07 and about 1.4 million tonnes exported in 2005-06.
Newcastle MP and Minister for the Hunter Jodie McKay said the resumption of major exports was a welcome sign that the drought could be easing in some parts of the State.
“Grain Corp has advised us it’s expecting as many as five shipments of wheat from Newcastle in what promises to be a busy January,” Ms McKay said.
The Port of Newcastle is Australia’s major coal export port but other commodities have a valuable impact on the Hunter Region and NSW economies.
Total trade throughput for the port in 2007-08 was 93.31 million tonnes valued at $10.3 billion. Coal exports amounted to nearly 89 million tonnes valued at $7.7billion while trade in other commodities amounted to 4.43 million tonnes valued at $2.6 billion.