Agri-food commodities are accounting for an increasing volume of shipments through the Hamilton port.
The Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) reported this week that agri-food commodities made up fully one-third of the 9.8 million tonnes of total cargo that transited the Hamilton port in the 2022 shipping season. Specifically, the port handled more than 1 million tonnes of soybeans and 1.5 million tonnes of wheat and corn, in addition to receiving the most raw sugar ever in Hamilton, 85,000 tonnes, destined for refining and use by food manufacturers in the region.
“We know that food security at home and abroad is a major concern. We’re proud of our port partners who are manufacturing essential products like sugar, flour and cooking oil for use locally, as well as our export terminals who are delivering high-quality Ontario-grown grain around the world,” said Ian Hamilton, President and CEO of HOPA Ports.
On the other hand, the conflict in Ukraine had a negative impact on the port’s fertilizer trade, since traditionally most of the urea-based fertilizer used on Ontario farms originates in the Baltic region. As Canadian importers sought out new fertilizer sources to avoid tariffs, the total amount transiting the Ports of Hamilton and Oshawa combined declined by 25% from 2021.
The Oshawa port saw 481,318 total tonnes of cargo in 2022, moderately lower than 2021 totals as a result of lower finished steel and fertilizer totals.
Both Hamilton and Oshawa ports are poised for growth. In 2022, HOPA Ports announced major infrastructure projects for Hamilton and Oshawa contributing to the largest capital budget in the port authority’s history, with $45 million planned for development in 2023.