A sizeable increase in export volumes at Port Taranaki Ltd highlights the company’s ability to provide a key link in New Zealand’s export supply chain, says Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper.
Port Taranaki Ltd’s half-year export volumes to 31 December 2016 were up 12% on the same period in the previous year, and came on the back of strong log and methanol volumes.
This result helped Port Taranaki Ltd post a net half-year profit after tax of $4.57m, up 1.5% on the same period last year.
Log volumes increased by 43% to 211,000 JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard tonnage) and methanol volumes were strong at 1.4m freight tonnes due to increased global demand.
“We have taken advantage of low Chinese inventory levels of logs by being competitive and capturing the market share through our pricing and facilities. We are providing greater efficiency to customers by offering greater storage closer to the berths and log scaling operations, and by stacking logs higher,” Mr Roper said.
The increased log trade follows the strong 2015-16 full-year result, when Port Taranaki had a record 80% increase in revenue from its log business.
Port Taranaki is New Zealand’s only deep water seaport on the west coast, and Mr Roper said the variety of trade that passed through the port – from oil and gas to animal feed and logs – made it a key strategic export port.
“Although we don’t have container trade here at the moment, we have the facilities and expertise to begin operations immediately. Our increase in exports and the range of goods we handle show that we have the ability to provide an important service to the container trade by being a feeder to New Zealand’s main container export ports.
“We will continue to seek solutions for export customers as we look to make a difference to the Taranaki region and the wider New Zealand economy.”
Total trade volume for the six-month period to 31 December 2016 was up 6.4% on the same period last year, to 2.69m freight tonnes. While exports were up, import volumes dropped 20% on the previous year because of weaker demand in the agriculture feed and fertiliser sector.
Port Taranaki chairman John Auld said the company’s mix of trade reflected the continuing volatility in international commodity prices.
“The longer term outlook for Port Taranaki’s trade continues to be a challenging one as there are mixed views on a recovery in international dairy and oil prices. But we remain committed to providing world-class logistics services for our customers and Taranaki businesses, and supporting our community through our shareholder the Taranaki Regional Council,” Mr Auld said.
A final dividend of $2.462m was paid to the TRC in September 2016, which was 10% up on the dividend paid for the equivalent period last year. An interim dividend for the 2017 financial year of $2.462m has been approved and will be paid at the end of February. Dividends paid to the TRC substantially help to offset regional rates.
Port Taranaki continues to make significant investments to support its customers and ensure their needs are being met, while also developing and growing trade.
- The refurbishment of a Centennial Drive tank farm is on track and will be operational for lessee BP Oil NZ Ltd by the middle of 2017.
- The implementation of a further four ShoreTension hydraulic mooring units has been successful and has given customers greater efficiency, certainty and safety.
- A new, more powerful in-harbour tug to replace the ageing Kupe is under construction at Turkish tug-building company Sanmar Shipyards and will be in operation at Port Taranaki in April 2018.
- A three-year maintenance programme to extend the life of the wharves is into its second year.
- The bulk dry hub development on the former Contact power station site has proved popular and beneficial for customers by being close to the berths.
“Providing services that meet our customers’ and prospective customers’ needs has been our focus, and we will continue to invest in critical infrastructure to ensure we are able to meet those needs and grow our business for the betterment of the region,” Mr Roper said.