Record shipment for the Port of Ipswich helps to reaffirm top UK ranking
- Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller
A record shipment for the Port of Ipswich has reaffirmed its ranking as Britain’s number one agricultural export centre.
More than 12,000 tonnes of beans for Glencore Agriculture UK were loaded into cargo at Cliff Quay this week.
Smashing an all-time record, bosses at the Association of British Ports (ABP) in East Anglia said it is their largest ever shipment of animal feed beans to leave the port.
The product, which is used as a key protein source in cattle, pig and poultry diets, will be transported to the port city of Bari in Italy aboard the vessel MV Zealand Beatrix.
Glencore Agriculture UK’s managing director, James Maw, said: “The ability to make a timely early shipment of such scale through ABP’s Port of Ipswich has proved to be especially important for eastern counties growers. Completing a 12,000 tonne shipment brings essential economies of scale that can make UK beans attractive for global buyers that have a core demand for beans in their feed rations, compared to the cost of conventional 4,000 tonne carriers.
“That has translated into better prices for East Anglian growers, and helping to assure a viable return from the crop for farmers.”
Ipswich’s status as the UK’s number one export port for agricultural products was confirmed by 2016 port freight statistics released by the Department for Transport (DfT) back in September.
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Around 40% of British barley exports – 46,173 tonnes out of the UK’s total export tonnage of 113,000 – passed through its facilities in July this year.
Short Sea Ports director Andrew Harston said: “We are delighted to be working with Glencore and their terminal partners Clarksons Port Services as well as Ipswich Grain Terminal to bring together this record 12,000 tonne export shipment of beans.
“Ipswich’s excellent location and connectivity make it a number one choice for our customers in the agricultural sector year after year, who rely on the access to global markets the port offers.”
Volumes at the Port of Ipswich have been growing year-on-year since 2013.
It is one of three operated by ABP in East Anglia, together with Lowestoft and King’s Lynn.
The group says that together, the three ports and their customers contribute £340m to the economy each year.