AGRICULTURAL and mineral exports helped the Port of Townsville maintain a strong financial position amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 8.2 million tonnes of freight passed over the wharves during the 2019/20 financial year, a 6.5 per cent increase on the year prior, representing a net profit of $13.87 million.
The role of mining, resources and agricultural industries were significant contributors with cattle tonnages by weight up 32 per cent on the year prior, making the Port of Townsville Australia's largest live cattle export port.
A record 388,296 head passed through the port, surpassing the previous highest export record of 305,778 in 2014/15.
Sugar exports were also solid, with a combined total of 1,866,302 tonnes leaving the ports of Townsville and Lucinda in 2019/20.
Sugar exports from Townsville were 11 per cent higher than the year prior, with 1,277,885 tonnes of raw sugar exported, largely due to a strong season on the Burdekin.
Sugar exports from Lucinda were down 9 per cent, as a result of the monsoonal weather event the previous year around the Herbert River growing region.
The highest total volume of sugar exported from both ports was in 2016/17, when 1,979,046 tonnes of raw sugar was exported.
Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby paid tribute to the port team, customers and logistics partners who worked closely together to ensure supply chains stayed open, delivering essential goods to the 700,000 people of North Queensland and ensuring industries in the region remained open for business.
"This has been a year unlike any other, but it was a testament to our employees, customers and supply chain partners who worked together to keep the economy moving and keep people in jobs,'' Ms Crosby said.
"The Port of Townsville's growth is crucial to the economy, jobs and the future of North Queensland.''