2013-12-14 13:24:32 - New Transportation research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
We expect to see a deterioration in the outlook for Australia's fiscal balances under the new government, given the Liberal-National coalition's enthusiasm to go ahead with proposed infrastructure plans, despite increasing signs of a pick-up in the economy. Indeed, Treasurer Joe Hockey's recent proposal to account separately for debt used to fund infrastructure further points to the coalition's declining keenness to pursue fiscal discipline. Given the lack of structural reforms on the cards, we have downgraded our outlook for the country's fiscal accounts, expecting the deficit for fiscal year 2014/15 (July-June) to widen to 1.9% of GDP, versus our previous forecast of 1.4%.
Australia's goods and services trade surplus came to US$541.2mn in June 2013, according to the Journal of Commerce.
The sum represents a month-on-month (m-o-m) increase of 19%. In seasonally adjusted terms, exports of goods and services dropped by 1% m-o-m, falling to US$23.6bn, while imports of goods and services dropped by 2% m-o-m, dropping to US$23bn. The value of non-monetary gold fell by 20% m-o-m, coming in at US$255.3mn.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/723533_australia_freight_transport_report_q1 ..
In other news sure to have a knock-on effect on the Australian freight industry, China has demanded that Australia should relax the restrictions imposed on foreign investment, introduce a working holiday scheme for Chinese citizens as well as ensure a streamlined entry for its business people. Under a free-trade deal, Australia is demanding better access for farmers along with better access to invest in China's financial, banking, legal, education and environmental services industries. Australia is believed to get a better deal on beef and dairy, with China relaxing restrictions on dairy imports owing to milk contamination scandals. However, the outlook is not bright for other commodities, such as rice and sugar, which China is aiming to protect from competition.
The Australian freight mix continues to be witnessing something of a lull at present, with our forecasts suggesting that the air and road freight sectors will only just manage to nudge over 1% annual tonnage growth in 2014, following a less than sparkling 2013. The rail freight sector is set to perform even worse, with year-on-year (y-o-y) growth expected to come in at just 0.97%. The Port of Melbourne will be the outperformer in terms of y-o-y growth in 2014, with our forecasts anticipating growth of 3.10%.
Headline Industry Data
* 2014 air freight tonnage is expected to grow by 1.16%.
* 2014 rail freight tonnage is forecast to grow by 0.97%.
* 2014 Port of Melbourne tonnage throughput is forecast to increase by 3.10%.
* 2014 Port of Sydney tonnage throughput is forecast to grow by 1.31%.
* 2014 road freight is forecast to increase by 1.14%.
* 2014 total real trade growth is forecast to grow by 2.95%.
Key Industry Trends
Melbourne Airport Cargo Estate To Be Finished In September - Preliminary work has started at Melbourne Airport's southern precinct and the phase two of the Melbourne Airport Cargo Estate is in progress, Air Cargo World reported in August 2013. The cargo estate was due to be concluded in September and will provide an additional 2,000m2 of warehouse space. Additionally, the extension of Airside Road, offering direct access to the airfield from the new estate, is included in the project. The project is aimed at improving ground transport access in and around the airport's precinct. Further, the Foxtrot apron infill project is due to be completed by end-2013.
Disused Rail Line In Victoria Reopens - A rail link between Echua and Toolamba in Victoria has been re-opened, it was reported at the beginning of October 2013. The route measures 67km and provides an important link with the city of Melbourne's port, which connects Australia to Asia and the Middle East, T and L reports. The first freight train to use the route was carrying rice for the Japanese market. Australian food manufacturing company SunRice has invested AUD7.1mn (US$6.7mn) in the railroad development project.
Expansion At Melbourne Offers Upside - Throughput volumes at Australia's largest container port, Melbourne, are set to slow in line with BMI's macroeconomic projections for the country over the short term. Expansion projects at the facility offer a brighter medium-term outlook, with the port planning to expand its container and auto logistics operations.
Risks To Outlook
Upside risk is presented by figures emanating from north Queensland at the end of August 2013 that relate to a large spike in coal exports over the past 12 months from the region. Government figures show that a huge 80% rise in exports of coal (1.92mn tonnes) occurred over the past year, with Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls expressing his belief that this indicated a 'recovery from this year's floods'.
Nicholls was referring to tropical storm Oswald, which devastated coal haulage rail lines back in January, with a loss of production costing an estimated AUD300mn. Meanwhile, earlier in August, the state government announced that it had approved the billionaire Clive Palmer's proposals for the west Queensland coal project, although the federal government must still sign off on this.
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