For the third year in a row, the Port of Bunbury has surpassed its annual trade record, with almost 18 million tonnes going through the facility last financial year. Southern Ports’ Port of Bunbury said it had surpassed its annual trade record for the third year in a row, this time by almost 1m tonnes. 17.95m tonnes were traded through the port during the 2021-22 financial year, exceeding the previous highest record of 17.12m tonnes traded in 2020-21. Southern Ports chief executive Steve Lewis said challenging global market conditions had not stopped the port from achieving its strongest year of trade ever recorded. “It is a great credit to all our exporters and importers that they have been able to grow their activity, despite operating in an unpredictable global market, and a credit to our team and our partners at Port of Bunbury that facilitated the safe and efficient movement of these trades through the port,” Mr Lewis said. Bunbury regional manager Lee Smith said in addition to the pleasing trade result, a record number of ships entered the port during the year. “Four-hundred-and-sixty-five ships visited Bunbury, and our professional marine team worked together with our service providers to facilitate this port activity,” Mr Smith said. The Port of Bunbury said it was in a strong position to accommodate an expected increase in activity. “The port handles commodities that are relevant to the needs of current and future markets. I anticipate the higher demand for these products will continue for some time,” Mr Smith said. The port said it had seen a marked increase in global demand for grain, which had aligned well with a bumper harvest in WA. “Over 829,000 tonnes were exported through the port, which is a 50 per cent increase on last year,” Mr Lewis said. “We are also experiencing greater demand for spodumene, silica sand, and copper concentrate to meet the needs of the growing electric vehicle industry.” The port said silica sand had experienced a 66 per cent increase in export volume, with 460,000 tonnes exported during the year, while exports of spodumene increased by 62 per cent and copper concentrate by 39 per cent, with alumina continuing to be a steady commodity. The Port said on average 1.5m tonnes were traded through the Bunbury Port each month, the bulk of which was alumina. Other products regularly traded through the Bunbury Port include caustic soda, fertilisers, wood chips, and bulk mineral sands.