Town port top for farming exports

Grain being exported from the Port of Ipswich

The Port of Ipswich has been revealed as the UK's top port for agricultural exports - to the delight of owners ABP - Credit: Stephen Waller

Ipswich has kept the crown as the UK's top port for agricultural exports.

Port of Ipswich owner ABP expressed delight after the port - in the heart of the UK's breadbasket - beat London, Bristol and Belfast to take the title. It has retained top spot for 17 years in a row.

Fertiliser being discharged from the 152m vessel STAR II, at ABP's Port of Ipswich, on 28-August-201

Fertiliser being discharged from the 152m vessel STAR II, at ABP's Port of Ipswich - Credit: Stephen Waller

The Department for Transport’s UK port freight statistics show that in 2021 the Port of Ipswich shipped 409,000 tonnes of agricultural products.  It exported a remarkable 22% of UK major ports’ outwards agricultural products tonnage last year, the figures confirm.

ABP said  its key location at the heart of the agricultural community of Suffolk and north Essex  - and East Anglia's role as the nation's breadbasket - played a role.

As well as retaining the accolade of biggest exporter of agricultural products, the port is also the seventh busiest port in the UK overall for both imports and exports of agricultural products.

Julian Scott of Clarkson Port Services and Neal Birkett of ABP, oversee the loading MV Aldebaran wit

Julian Scott of Clarkson Port Services and Neal Birkett of ABP oversee the loading MV Aldebaran with rice at ABP's Port of Ipswich - Credit: Stephen Waller

It plays an important role in supporting supply chains in the region - including aggregates and cement for the UK construction industry, said ABP.

ABP divisional port manager Paul Ager said: “It is fantastic that we have seen continuously high agricultural export volumes, which have helped our port retain its top position as the UK’s number one export port for agricultural products.

Rice being discharged from General Cargo Ship IJSSELDIJK at ABP's Port of Ipswich, on 16-June-2020.

Rice being discharged from General Cargo Ship IJSSELDIJK at ABP's Port of Ipswich - Credit: Stephen Waller

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"Our business plays an important role in supporting supply chains in East Anglia and we are grateful to all our customers for continuing to choose ABP’s Port of Ipswich to handle their imports and exports."

Rice being discharged from General Cargo Ship IJSSELDIJK at ABP's Port of Ipswich, on 16-June-2020.

Rice being discharged from General Cargo Ship IJSSELDIJK at ABP's Port of Ipswich - Credit: Stephen Waller

ABP’s East Anglian ports - King’s Lynn, Lowestoft and Ipswich - combined contribute £360m to the UK economy every year, according to ABP, and support3,700 jobs in the region and 5,300 jobs nationally.

Together, the three ports handle more than 3m tonnes of cargo every year, 2m tonnes of Agribulks and 170,000 tonnes of timber.



FARMING - The Grain Terminal in Ipswich.

The Grain Terminal at the Port of Ipswich - the top port for agricultural exports - Credit: Phil Morley

FARMING - The Grain Terminal in Ipswich.

Grain stored at the Grain Terminal at the Port of Ipswich - Credit: Phil Morley