Industries wait on new port access rules
Some members of the wheat market who were concerned about deregulation may have been correct, at least on the points about ports.
Several industries will be waiting on confirmation of rumours that the Coalition government will look at introducing a mandatory code of conduct for port access.
Ports have been falling under increasingly tight control from a few export companies, insiders say.
Bulk grain handlers who also own port facilities across the country are consuming a greater share of the export market. Grain industry consultant, Simon McNair says he has been following their expansion since deregulation of some industries in 2009. Mr McNair estimates that grain handlers who own terminals have increased their market share from just over forty per cent, to more than 60 per cent of the product leaving Australian shores.
Current port access codes force some operators to share the terminals they own. With agreements set to expire in 2014, some insiders have said the industry will wait and see where they stand under possible new regulations for access.