By Erik Olson, August 13, 2013, Longview Daily News
The Port of Longview has collected $15.2 million in revenue in the first six months of the year — about 2 percent above last year’s record pace — and port officials expect an even better second half, they said Tuesday.
Port officials said strong log exports continued to boost revenue in the quarter ending in June, while grain exports from the EGT terminal slowed this summer because of Midwest drought conditions.
The Port of Longview exported 125.8 million board of feet of logs during the first six months of 2013, nearly double the same period last year. Port officials said logs are typically high-revenue cargo because they are so labor intensive.
Grain exports were up nearly 50 percent, to 2.43 million tons in the first half of the year, largely because of a strong first quarter. For April through June, however, grain shipments fell significantly to 630,000 tons — a third as much as the first quarter.
Last year’s drought delayed this year’s summer harvest of soybeans and corn, which means farmers should be sending more crops to export this fall, Lauri Nelson-Cooley, the port’s director of business development, told port commissioners.
“That should really make a comeback this month,” she said.
The port made $2.78 million in net income off its $15.2 million in revenue for the first six months of 2013, a 20 percent return that pleased port commissioners.
“The difference between operating revenue and expenses is fantastic this year,” Commissioner Bob Bagaason said.
Last year, the port collected $14.8 million in revenue from January through June on the way to $33.8 million for 2012, the fifth consecutive record revenue year. For the first time in history, the Port of Longview surpassed the Port of Vancouver in revenue, largely because of EGT.
Port revenue comes from shipping fees and lease payments and pays for day-to-day port operations, including longshore worker wages.