Ban­ner year for grain ship­ments at port

Cargo trend­ing 17 per cent higher com­pared to last year

The Hamilton Spectator - - Business - MARK MC­NEIL mm­c­neil@thes­pec.com 905-526-4687 | @Markatthes­pec

Agri­cul­tural prod­uct ship­ments in Hamil­ton Har­bour have more than dou­bled over the first nine months of this year com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2017.

As fur­ther ev­i­dence of a ban­ner year, Hamil­ton Port Au­thor­ity of­fi­cials say Fri­day, at one point, the har­bour had 11 ships, most of them pick­ing up agri­cul­tural prod­ucts.

The num­ber of ships may have been a record, said Ian Hamil­ton, CEO and pres­i­dent of the Hamil­ton Port Au­thor­ity.

Ship­ments of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts are up by 109 per cent in the Jan­uary- to-Septem­ber

2018 to­tal, rel­a­tive to the same pe­riod in 2017. Cargo over­all is trend­ing 17 per cent higher than last year.

The re­sults are note­wor­thy be­cause the port au­thor­ity over the past sev­eral years has been try­ing di­ver­sify beyond prod­ucts re­lated to steel­mak­ing.

In par­tic­u­lar, the port au­thor­ity has in­vested heav­ily with pri­vate part­ners in grain ter­mi­nal fa­cil­i­ties with a fo­cus on win­ter wheat, corn, soya beans and canola. The ter­mi­nals take the prod­ucts from trucks and keep grains in si­los un­til they are picked up by ships.

One out­come of the in­creased ter­mi­nal ca­pac­ity, Hamil­ton said, is that Hamil­ton-area farm­ers

This year has been strong, in part, be­cause of in­creas­ing trade as a re­sult of the Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic and Trade Agree­ment (CETA) be­tween Canada and the Euro­pean Union as well as a drought in Europe lead­ing to grain traders look­ing to North Amer­i­can mar­kets, he said.

More than 60 per cent of all the grains ex­ported from On­tario go through the port of Hamil­ton, said Hamil­ton. “Com­pared to 10 or 15 years ago, our vol­ume would have quadru­pled,” he said.

GARY YOKOYAMA THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Five empty ships moored in Hamil­ton Har­bour are seen from the Ni­a­gara Es­carp­ment. Ship­ments of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts are up 109 per cent.

CEO Ian Hamil­ton

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