2012-08-31 13:55:53 - Fast Market Research recommends "Australia Shipping Report Q4 2012" from Business Monitor International, now available
Once more, looking ahead to the mid term, there is not very much to separate Australia's three main ports by way of tonnage throughput, with the Port of Brisbane set to lead the way in 2012. Following closely behind are the ports of Melbourne and Sydney in that order. In terms of container throughput, it is the Port of Melbourne that clinches top spot, ahead of Sydney in both 2012 and to the end of the forecast period.
Over the forecast period, the highest year-on-year (y-o-y) tonnage growth average is set to be the Port of Brisbane with 4.15%. And on the box throughput front, BMI predicts that the Port of Brisbane will also beat Australia's other main ports in terms
of average annual growth (4.77% between 2012 and 2016).
A forecast slowing in Chinese demand will have a detrimental effect on the country's port sector due to China continuing to be a key export partner. Exports of raw materials will be hit as China demands less iron ore and coal, for instance. Although Australia's macro picture looks decidedly rosy on first glance - growth outturn recorded in Q112 was very impressive - our bearish outlook on the economy remains unchanged. While maintaining our outlook for a H212 recession, we have bumped up our growth figure for this year, from 0.8% to 2.1%, while more than offsetting this by a reduction in our 2013 forecast, from 3.0% to 0.9%.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/451206_australia_shipping_report_q4_2012.asp ..
Headline Industry Data
* 2012 Port of Melbourne tonnage throughput forecast to grow 3.26%.
* 2012 Port of Melbourne container throughput forecast to rise 2.39%.
* 2012 Port of Sydney tonnage throughput forecast to increase 4.80%.
* 2012 Port of Sydney container throughput forecast to increase 3.08%.
* 2012 total trade growth forecast to contract by 0.70%.
Key Industry Trends
China Slowdown Hits Australia Port Expansion Plans
An AUD9bn (US$8.75bn) extension project at Abbot Point has been put on the backburner, as China's economic slowdown begins to have an effect on Australia's port expansion plans. Allied to this, it has also been announced that plans to expand the Abbot Point coal terminal have also been scrapped.
Government To Seize Land To Construct Anketell Port
Several thousands of hectares of land is to be seized by the government, it was announced in May, in order to push ahead with the proposed Anketell deepwater port in Western Australia, according to Colin Barnett, the premier of the state. The port will be constructed in stages as a multi-user terminal, with a final annual handling capacity of more than 350mn tonnes.
SMIT Marine Australia Workers Vote To Strike
Industrial action is set to once more rear its head in the Australian ports sector, with the news that strikes had been backed by workers of Australian maritime services company SMIT Marine Australia in June, which offers pilot and towing services to coal ships at the Port of Gladstone. A total of three unions are reportedly seeking a 37.5% hike in wages for tug masters and engineers, followed by an annual salary hike of 8%.
Risks To Outlook
On the downside, risks appear in terms of the spectre of industrial action at the country's ports. While previously, strikes had affected Asciano's Patrick Stevedores operations in recent times, a settlement has finally been reached in this case. However, as mentioned in the section above, SMIT Marine workers were given the green light to pursue industrial action last quarter as they seek a hike in wages. The ports of Adelaide and Fremantle have also seen industrial disputes in the recent past.
However, upside risks continue to present themselves over the mid- to long-term through an ongoing emphasis on development and expansion projects. Although such plans have been shelved at Abbot Point, other ports have placed an onus on improving facilities and this can only be a positive development. For instance, initial coal exports are set to take place at Newcastle Port in mid 2017, although this is two years later than previously planned. The AUD5bn coal terminal was planned by Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS). Meanwhile, Port Kembla is set to be sold to the private sector and NSW Treasurer Mike Baird vowed to use AUD100mn from the AUD500mn transaction to build various infrastructure projects in the region to ease any political fallout from the move.
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