2013-03-03 10:55:06 - Fast Market Research recommends "Poland Shipping Report Q2 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available
After estimated growth of 2.3% in 2012, BMI is predicting that Polish GDP will grow at the same rate in 2013, accelerating to 3.7% in 2014. While the slowdown in eurozone demand has had an important impact in Poland, we expect the country to do reasonably well against the background of a slow regional recovery. Significantly, the country's external position remains relatively strong with the current account deficit set to narrow and growth in the real value of foreign trade due to accelerate this year, after a virtual standstill in 2012. For the economy as a whole net exports and investment are likely to be key growth drivers this year. We expect medium term GDP growth in the five years
to 2017 to average 3.5% per annum, marginally up on the 3.4% we believe the country achieved in the preceding five years.
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All this is relatively good news for the country's major maritime ports. The port of Gdansk is set to hold the top position in Poland's maritime sector in terms of both total tonnage and container throughput in 2013 after overtaking the port of Gdynia in terms of boxes handled in 2010, with both major ports expected to post annual growth.
Gdansk has a strong position to build on in 2013. The largest global container line, Maersk Line, is its customer, and the shipping company now offers the facility as a port of call on some of its direct Asia- Europe services, offering Poland's importers and exporters cheaper and quicker transport links to ports in China.
Over the medium term we project further growth at the port of Gdansk. Gdynia is also expected to grow, having enhanced its container role following its addition as a port of call on Hapag-Lloyd's service and further improvements of its intermodal links.
Headline Industry Data
* 2013 port of Gdansk tonnage throughput forecast to grow 6.4%, over the medium term to 2017 we project a 5.4% average annual increase.
* 2013 port of Gdansk container throughput forecast to grow 34.2%, over the medium term we project a 16.6%average annual increase.
* 2013 total trade growth forecast at 2.9%, up from an estimated 0.6% in 2012%.
Key Industry Trends
LNG Terminal Is Being Promised For 2014 Despite a number of obstacles, Polish treasury minister Mikolaj Budzanowski has promised that the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Swinoujscie will be ready by 2014. The project, estimated to cost around US$855mn, is part of the government's multipronged drive to diversify its sources of energy away from Russia. On behalf of the Polish government, state-owned gas pipeline operator Gaz-System will be accountable for the construction of the LNG terminal. The government has also signed a deal with Qatar for supplying LNG once the construction of the LNG port is completed. The supply of LNG to Qatar is likely to begin in 2013.
Work Starts On New Logistics Centre In Gdansk The foundation stone of the new 110-hectare Pomeranian Logistics Centre (PLC) at the Port of Gdansk was laid in October 2012. The project is the largest in Poland to be carried out by Australia-based property developer Goodman. Five years after the Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT) was created at Gdansk, throughput capacity was deemed to be insufficient. The PLC will be close to a modern airport and road networks will be upgraded.
The Polish-Built and Crewed Baltic Ace Sank Off The Dutch Coast The Baltic Ace, a 148m freight carrier that was built in a Polish shipyard, and was largely crewed by Polish merchant seamen, sank off the Dutch coast in December after a collision with container carrier Corvus J, leaving a toll of 11 dead or missing. The Baltic Ace, sailing under a Bahamas flag, was heading from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge to Kotka in Finland. Netherlands government data shows 260,000 ships cross through Dutch waters annually, mostly foreign ships. Due in part to the nearby location of Rotterdam, Europe's largest port, it is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, yet fewer than 20 accidents happen annually, and few involve fatal injuries.
Risks to Outlook
Continued growth at Poland's container ports stems from BMI's positive outlook for its economy. Container throughput will be partly driven by consumers, a section of the Polish economy that is strengthening. On the other hand however, our forecast is contingent on developments in the eurozone. Should the expected slow regional recovery falter, particularly as a result of renewed worries over sovereign debt, then Poland's growth, and port activity levels, will face increased downside risks. An upside risk to our forecasts comes from the continued development of Poland's ports as direct ports of call. The decreased usage of transhipment hubs, with goods travelling directly between Asian and Polish ports, is bringing down import and export costs and also driving up throughput volumes at the latter.
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