Trade performance

Summary of the Port of Melbourne’s trade performance in 2021-22

Cargo typeThroughput 2021-22% change on 2020-21
Total trade107.6 million revenue tonnes+3.3%
Containers (TEU)3.23 million TEU-1.9%
New motor vehicles4.8 million revenue tonnes
(328,825 units)
Liquid bulk5.5 million revenue tonnes+2.5%
Dry bulk5.4 million revenue tonnes+10.0%
Breakbulk9.7 million revenue tonnes+18.2%

More detail for 2021-22

Total trade

Total trade through the Port of Melbourne for FY22 increased by 3.3% over the previous financial year to a record 107.6 million revenue tonnes. Total imports increased 4.2% to 60.0 million revenue tonnes and total exports increased by 2.3% to 47.6 million revenue tonnes.

Overseas imports increased 4.8% to 48.2 million revenue tonnes and overseas exports increased by 3.9% to 36.4 million revenue tonnes.

Coastal imports increased by 1.5% to 11.8 million revenue tonnes and coastal exports declined 2.7% to 11.2 million revenue tonnes.

Container trade

Total container throughput for the 2021-22 financial year was 3.23 million TEU and represented a 1.9% decrease over the record 3.29 million TEU recorded in FY21. Full containers decreased by 3.2% with imports and exports down 1.4% and 6.0% respectively, while empty container movements increased by 2.0% to 854,000 TEU. The decline in full container trade performance in FY22 can be attributed to an ongoing ban by China on Australian timber which negatively impacted export levels and consumer spending patterns returning to pre-COVID-19 behaviors as restrictions eased, vaccinations levels increased and people adapted to living with the pandemic.

New motor vehicles

New motor vehicle trade increased 10.3% in FY22 to 4.8 revenue million tonnes, which equated to 328,825 units. Imports increased 8.5% and exports gained 21.2%.

Liquid bulk

Liquid bulk increased 2.5% to 5.5 million revenue tonnes (4.4 million mass tonnes), with crude oil and petroleum product imports accounting for almost 87% of the total FY22 liquid bulk trade.  The Mobil Altona refinery ceased operation permanently in August 2021 and became an import terminal for refined petroleum products. The easing of COVID-19 related restrictions on international travel and state border closures in late 2021 increased demand for petroleum based fuels which contributed to the overall annual increase in total liquid bulk trade in FY22.

Dry bulk

Dry bulk trade for FY22 increased by 10.0% over FY21 to 5.4 million revenue tonnes (5.1 million mass tonnes). This increase was entirely attributable to the export sector which increased 53.0% to 1.6 million revenue tonnes due predominantly to increased grain shipments following another above average winter crop in FY22. The import sector declined 2.0% to 3.8 million revenue tonnes with volumes of raw sugar, gypsum and fertilizers below FY21 levels.