GPC said it was too premature to accurately predict how trade would be impacted in coming months.
GPC said it was too premature to accurately predict how trade would be impacted in coming months.

Trade flows at Port amid COVID-19 pandemic

Gladstone Ports Corporation has reported minimal impact on trade after strict quarantine measures came into effect last month.

There is likely to be some effects felt in coming months as the economic consequences of the global Covid-19 response become more evident, but GPC said it was too early to accurately make a prediction at this stage.

A direction from Maritime Safety Queensland announced on March 18 means ships must not enter a Queensland pilotage area until 14 days have passed since it, or any person on board, left a foreign country.

There are certain circumstances when exemptions to the MSQ direction can be issued.

"Where a significant disruption to the supply of essential goods into Queensland may be affected is one such extenuating circumstance," GPC said.

"GPC are committed to keep trade flowing through the port with as little disruption as possible during this unprecedented time, but that must be balanced with the absolute need to protect the health of maritime workers and the wider community."

Total export and import numbers at the Gladstone port for March were up compared to the previous month and marginally down on this time last year.

There was a total of 8,418,633 tonnes of cargo exports last month compared to 8,000,897 tonnes in February and 8,943,174 tonnes in March 2019.

Total cargo imports were 1,734,813 tonnes (March 2020), compared to 1,680,417 tonnes (February 2020) and 1,808,769 tonnes (March 2019).