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Port of Vancouver grain exports double in first half of 2023

Shipments of North Shore terminal commodities potash and metalurgical coal also stable

Shipments of bulk products from North Shore terminals showed a favourable trend in the first six months of the year.

The shipment of grain through the Port of Vancouver, including North Shore grain terminals Cargill, G3 and JR Richardson, doubled in the first six months of 2023 compared to the same time period last year.

The rebound in grain shipments – which were up 106 per cent over the first six months of 2022 – helped offset the drop in container shipments through the port.

“Overall grain is very strong,” said Victor Pang, interim CEO and president of the Port of Vancouver.

The significant boost in figures reflects shipment of a bumper crop of grain from the Prairies during the 2022 growing season, and recovery from a drought the year before.

Shipments of bulk grain – the type handled by North Shore terminals – was up 121 per cent. Canola volumes were up 124 per cent, according to statistics released by the port, while bulk wheat shipments were up 144 per cent.

About 17 per cent of the wheat exported through Vancouver’s port terminals is shipped to Africa, while Japan and Algeria were the top two exports for Canadian wheat.

Much of the uptick reflected global changes as exports of wheat from Ukraine were restricted because of the war with Russia.

Exports of potash and fertilizers like sulphur remained stable in the first six months of 2023. Volumes for potash were down about six per cent over the first six months of 2022, while sulphur was up by 20 per cent.

Figures for bulk forestry products were down, reflecting a slowdown in the global economy, while exports of metallurgic coal – the kind exported through the North Shore’s Neptune Terminals – remained stable.

Cruise ship traffic was also up 82 per cent in the first half of the year, said Pang, creating a spillover impact into hospitality and tourism industries, including those on the North Shore.

The route between Vancouver and Alaska is particularly favoured by travellers, he said.

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