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Canadian agriculture drives Port of Vancouver results

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Staff Writer | March 2, 2017
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority released 2016 year-end statistics for trade through the Port of Vancouver.
Port of Vancouver
Shipping   2016 year-end statistics
Overall volume decreased slightly to 136 million tonnes of cargo, down 1.8 percent from 2015. Sectors experiencing declines were offset by others that hit new records, including the bulk grain sector.

This is the Port of Vancouver’s third consecutive year of record volumes in bulk grain and its fifth year of an upward trend. Bulk grain export volumes through the port increased 1.3 percent from 2015, to reach 21.8 million metric tonnes in 2016.

Strong global demand for Canadian agriculture was met with a bumper crop in Canada and increased exports of grain through the Port of Vancouver.

Record bulk grain exports were driven by higher volumes of canola and specialty crop exports, which are up by 18.9 percent and 17.9 percent respectively. This growth was offset by a 16.4 percent decrease in wheat exports due to adverse weather conditions.

Containerized exports increased by 3.3 percent due to growth in woodpulp, grain and food and agri-product shipments.

This increase was offset by a 2.4 percent decline in loaded import containers, partly due to the return of some traffic to U.S. west coast ports after their 2015 labour dispute, leading to a flat result in overall laden container volumes for 2016.

The weak Canadian dollar and a slowdown in industry investment and development activity in western Canada was reflected in the 17.2 percent decline in metal and project cargo imports in 2016.

A 22 percent drop in breakbulk lumber and wood pulp also contributed to a decline in overall import and export breakbulk volumes.

Metallurgical coal volumes increased 1.8 percent in 2016 due to a 64.3 percent increase in exports to India and sustained demand from Japan, China, and South Korea. Overall coal volumes are down by 6.1 percent in 2016, due to a 28.2 percent decrease in thermal coal exports.

The cruise industry in Vancouver is experiencing stable growth as demand for Alaskan cruises continues to increase.

In 2016, the port welcomed 228 cruise ships and 826,820 passengers compared to 805,400 passengers in 2015, an increase of three percent, as major cruise lines continue to invest in the Alaska itinerary. â–