Bluff port in China tie-up
South Port NZ has entered into a technical co-operation agreement with China's Lanshan Harbour Company to help boost its log exports and other trade.
Lanshan Port - in the eastern part of Shandong Province, which is in the middle of China's coastline - was the largest export destination for New Zealand pinus radiata logs, the Southland port company said today.
The Bluff-based operator said that in the first five months of 2012, Lanshan Port handled a total of 1.6 million tonnes of log imports of which more than 1.0 million tonnes was pinus radiata material sourced from the New Zealand market.
Lanshan Port's other major cargoes include iron ore, nickel ore, liquid petro-chemicals, grain and steel. It has a current total cargo throughput of 54 million tonnes, compared with South Port's 2.6 million tonnes. Lanshan also formed part of the larger Rizhao Port Group.
South Port chairman Rex Chapman and chief executive Mark O'Connor recently travelled to China to sign the technical co-operation agreement and meet with senior Lanshan Port management.
Chapman said South Port now looked forward to closer co-operation on port logistics and exploring further trade opportunities with its Chinese counterpart.
The approach by Lanshan Port and the subsequent completion of the agreement was facilitated by one of South Port's Chinese customers NAC Trading Ltd, he said.
While in China, Chapman and O'Connor met with a trading entity in Qingdao (Shandong Foreign TradeTeifang), plus a large chemical manufacturing company in Weifang (Shandong Haihua Group) and also visited the Yantai Port in the northern part of Shandong Province.
Shandong Foreign Trade was predominantly an import company which had increased its activity significantly in recent years and was projecting a lift in its future domestic sales significantly, he said.
"There is no doubt that the Chinese market represents an important prospect for New Zealand exporters but it is essential that appropriate time and effort is invested by businesses to understand the dynamics of the market and the niche opportunities that exist," Chapman said