And so, therefore, so is projected revenue and profit.

Napier Port is a passive money-maker. Although it can tweak operations to increase efficiency, it can do nothing to increase the flow of goods it handles. Nor can it change the weather!

Those realities are confirmed by the latest financial guidance the Post has given this week.

Container imports and bulk cargo volumes dropped by 16.6% and 8.7% respectively in the six months to March 31, and the Port now expects to report a first-half operating result of around $16.4 million, down on the $21.3m recorded in the previous comparable period. Profits are expected to be slightly down instead of 10% up as originally projected for the current year.

What’s going on?

Labour shortages here in the Bay …

Says Port chief executive Todd Dawson: “The continuation of seasonal labour shortages in New Zealand’s primary sector has compounded the impact of Omicron across Napier Port’s second quarter, with labour shortages creating delays to production within customer operations and reduced overall production, contributing to the delay in the processing of seasonal harvests and lower volumes of meat into the port.”

Can’t pick it, can’t slaughter and process it.

And then there are ongoing global supply chain issues affecting shipping …

“There has been an escalation in regional and global container shipping schedule disruption and we continue to work with vessel omissions, delays, and inconsistent schedules across fewer vessel calls.” Pandemic-related port lockdowns in China as one example.

Both these factors exacerbated by a spate of extreme weather that caused delays in cargo arriving at the port and resulted in several port shipping closures in February and March.

That’s the Port situation.

But if export volumes are down (and shipping costs and imported input prices dramatically up), obviously that means food producers won’t be doing so well either. And we’re yet to hear what those numbers might be looking like.

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