Port of Melbourne trade increases

Port of Melbourne reports 6.6 percent increase in trade in a sign the economy is bouncing back from poor 2009

There are signs of further economic recovery, with the Port of Melbourne reporting an increase of 6.6 percent in total trade in December.

The increase is compared to the corresponding period in 2008 and has been mainly attributed to a rise in international exports including wheat, wine, pulp and wastepaper.

Full international container imports also rose 12.5 percent over the previous December, boosted by insulation material, rubber manufacturers and furniture.

New vehicle motor vehicle trade posted its third consecutive month of growth, increasing 33.8 percent on December 2008 due mostly to imports of new passenger vehicles.

Port of Melbourne Chief Executive Stephen Bradford says while the corporation remains cautious about drawing conclusions from one month’s trade results, the signs are "very encouraging".

"This positive trade figure provides an important point of comparison given that the impact of the global financial crisis started to have an influence on port trade in December 2008," Bradford says.

"There were some horror stories about declining trade volumes earlier in 2009 in some international container ports so December’s trade figures, consistent with November, are a welcome result which we hope will be sustained."

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