The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority released the 2021 mid-year statistics for goods moving through the Port of Vancouver. From January 1 to June 30, 2021, overall cargo volumes through Canada’s largest port reached a record high of 76.4 million metric tonnes (MMT), up 7% from 2020 mid-year, and 5% above the previous record set in 2019.
Sectors that experienced strong growth include grain and containers, both of which hit new records. Container traffic rose by 24% to 1.9 million TEUs.
Strong overseas demand for Canadian grain products—a main driver of the overall record mid-year cargo volumes—resulted in record mid-year volumes of bulk grain, up 20% to 16.5 MMT compared to mid-year 2020 and up 35% from 2019. Total foreign tonnage and foreign exports resulted in 60.3 and 52.0 MMT, up 4% respectively, compared to mid-year 2020 volumes, due to strong increases in grain and coal.
Increases in wheat, up 23%, barley, up 151%, and animal feed, up 30%, contributed to this new bulk grain record. Metallurgical coal increased by 11% while thermal coal remained flat. In fertilizers, potash exports increased by 0.3% from last year and sulphur decreased by 20%.
“Record grain volumes through the Port of Vancouver once again over the first half of the year demonstrate thecontinued growth in the global demand for Canadian agricultural products,” said Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “Over many years, we have worked with partners to support the growth of the agricultural sector, and over the last decade there has been a very significant amount of investment in the port and the surrounding gateway by grain terminals, governments, railways, port customers, and the port authority, with much of that investment directly benefitting the grain sector.” (Photo VFPA)