Coal, Potash and Containers are Bright Spots in Port Metro Vancouver 2008 Mid-Year Stats



    METRO VANCOUVER, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - Mid-year stats for cargo released today
by Port Metro Vancouver show significant growth in coal and potash exports,
along with positive increases in both import and export container volumes.
Cruise passenger volumes remained relatively stable, while overall tonnage was
down slightly from the same period in 2007.
    "Our Port activity strongly reflects both international market trends and
the relative strength of the Canadian economy," said Captain Gordon Houston,
President and CEO, Port Metro Vancouver. "These statistics, and the economic
depth and diversity they echo, demonstrate the vital role that Canada's
largest port plays in the country's economic well-being."
    Influenced strongly by forest product market conditions, overall cargo
volumes dropped 5% to 58,477,997 tonnes. Coal exports, up 10% year-to-date to
12,973,564 tonnes, demonstrated the strength in energy markets along with
offshore supply issues, particularly in Australia.
    High global demand for fertilizer boosted potash volumes by 10% to
3,438,753 tonnes, and increased sulphur exports by 7% to 2,726,432 tonnes. The
strong growth in potash exports supports the Neptune Bulk Terminal expansion
in North Vancouver recently announced by Canpotex as part of its plan to
nearly double annual potash exports through the West Coast.
    Woodpulp shipments registered an increase of 5%, while forest products
experienced an overall reduction of 8%, commensurate with declines in logs,
lumber, paper and woodchips. Contributing factors include a strong Canadian
dollar, increased international competition (particularly from Russia and
Brazil), and the effects of BC's pine beetle infestation.
    Market demand for grains, including special crops and feed, remains
strong. However, domestic demand negatively influenced exports, with wheat
experiencing the most noticeable decline, dropping 16% to 1,906,235 tonnes.
Vegetable oil exports were also down, due in large part to soaring prices,
higher domestic demand and biodiesel conversion.
    A substantial decline in the chemicals, metals and minerals sector
largely reflected a reduction in mineral exports. Petroleum exports remained
stable, with reductions in aviation fuel offset by growth in gasoline, diesel
and fuel oil.
    In contrast to many West Coast ports, total container traffic increased
by 4%, reaching 1,223,390 TEUs. Port Metro Vancouver continues to rank third
among North American west coast ports in terms of foreign laden container
traffic, registering a 6% increase.
    The cruise sector demonstrated relative stability. Passenger numbers are
down slightly from 2007 due to adjustment in vessel deployment by cruise lines
operating in the Alaska market. So far this year, the port has welcomed
336,701 passengers, down year-to-date from 368,189 in 2007.
    Automobile imports remained steady, growing by 1% to 242,560 vehicles.
    Below is a statistical summary by sector and major commodity.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Port Metro Vancouver: 2008 Mid-Year Stats

    (in metric tonnes except Cruise category)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cargo Totals               June 2008 YTD     June 2007 YTD     Change (%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Tonnage                 58,477,997        61,763,494           -5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CARGO TYPE

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Autos                            242,560           239,187           +1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Breakbulk                     10,466,579        12,118,275          -14%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bulk - Dry                    32,418,948        34,652,028           -6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bulk - Liquid                  4,688,879         4,626,598           +1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Containerized                 10,661,031        10,127,406           +5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    COMMODITY HIGHLIGHTS

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Forest Products               13,299,340        14,464,784           -8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Coal                          12,973,564        11,796,423          +10%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chemicals/Metals/Minerals      8,279,063        11,196,467          -26%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grain, Special
     Crops and Feed                6,713,042         7,024,999           -4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Potash                         3,438,753         3,135,984          +10%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sulphur                        2,726,432         2,545,850           +7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Petroleum Products             3,088,866         3,020,857           +2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Container TEU            1,223,390         1,173,115           +4%

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Laden TEU                1,101,505         1,038,528           +6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Import Laden TEU                 608,021           593,246           +2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Export Laden TEU                 493,483           445,282          +11%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cruise

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue Passengers               336,701           368,189           -9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Voyages                              102               110           -7%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    Port Metro Vancouver is Canada's largest and most diversified port,
trading more than $53 billion in goods with more than 100 trading economies
annually.





For further information:

For further information: Anne McMullin, Director, Corporate
Communications and Public Affairs, Port Metro Vancouver, Tel: (604) 665-9069,
Cel: (778) 231-6978, Fax Toll-Free in North America: 1-866-284-4271

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