2013-12-04 12:48:31 - New Transportation research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
Although the Australian economy continued to grow at the end of 2012 (0.6% quarter-on-quarter in seasonally adjusted terms), with this performance supported by the improvement in export performance, BMI does not expect external demand to remain resilient in 2013. This will have a negative impact on the country's shipping sector and we believe that the soft domestic economy will also weigh on headline growth, which we expect to slow to 2.1%.
Australia's real GDP growth is expected to remain firm over the long term, averaging 2.7% in the 10-year period from 2013 to 2023. In particular, we believe exports and a renewed interest in skilled immigration will be key drivers in helping the economy return to its trendline growth of around
3.0% from 2017 onwards, following a slowdown in 2012-2016.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/723419_australia_shipping_report_q1_2014.asp ..
In terms of Australia's top four ports, 2013 is set to come in as an unimpressive year as the country's shipping sector attempts to recover from the global economic slowdown and a slowing of demand in key export partner China, with China taking over from regional neighbour Japan as Australia's top export partner in 2009. While the Port of Brisbane is set to be Australia's top port by total tonnage handled (37.56mn tonnes), the highest annual rate of growth is set to have occurred at the ports of Melbourne and Freemantle (both coming in at 3% in 2013). In 2014, the Port of Brisbane is set to record the highest y-o-y growth in box throughput terms (5.37%) and the Port of Melbourne will enjoy the highest rate of annual tonnage throughput growth.
Headline Industry Data
* 2014 Port of Melbourne tonnage throughput forecast to grow 3.10%.
* 2014 Port of Melbourne container throughput forecast to rise 2.87%.
* 2014 Port of Sydney tonnage throughput forecast to increase 1.31%.
* 2014 Port of Sydney container throughput forecast to increase 4.00%.
* 2014 Total trade growth forecast to grow by 2.95%.
Key Industry Trends
Expansion At Melbourne Offers Upside: It is our projection that throughput volumes at Australia's largest container port, Melbourne, will slow in line with our macroeconomic projections for the country over the short term. The medium-term picture is brighter due to the expansion projects at the facility, with the port planning to expand its container and auto logistics operations.
Newcastle Grains Terminal To Become Operational By 2013 Harvest: A new grains terminal at the Australian port of Newcastle is expected to be completed in time for this year's harvest, reported ABC Rural at the end of September 2013, citing managers of the new grains terminal at the port. This has been marked as the first major grain port development in New South Wales in 25 years. The development of the Newcastle Agri Terminal represents a total investment of US$30mn and it possesses the capacity to transport up to 1.5mn tonnes of grain annually.
Bechtel Completes Coal Terminal Project: US engineering and construction firm Bechtel has successfully completed the Kooragang Coal Terminal expansion project of Australia's coal handling terminal operator Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) in Newcastle, it was reported in September 2013. Bechtel has handed over the fourth rail receival station, the last component in the Kooragang Coal Terminal expansion, to PWCS. The AUD1.6bn (US$1.48bn) expansion will boost the annual coal handling capacity of the Port Waratah's Carrington and Kooragang terminals to 145mn tonnes. Additionally, it enables the port to cater to the contracted volumes from coal producers in Australia's Hunter Valley region.
Risks To Outlook
Industrial action continues to be a thorn in the side of the Australian shipping sector. In August 2013, it was announced that talks between Newcastle coal terminals operator Port Waratah Coal Services and unions have broken down despite rolling daily strikes. According to Glen Williams, Newcastle branch secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, speaking to Platts: 'There have been no talks, not a word, for the past two weeks. We have extended an invitation to the company to meet anytime, but they show no interest in doing so. This is not serving any purpose by not meeting, not to employees, nor to customers.'
PWCS spokesman Paul Chamberlin said: 'We have sent a message to the company saying that it is unfortunate that you cannot see any way to talk about what we have put forward and we remain available to meet with you.'
Meanwhile, the EPA has given its seal of approval to the proposal by Lanco Resources Australia Pty Ltd to develop a coal storage and loading facility at Berth 14A. Once completed, it will have the capacity to export 15 million tonnes of coal annually from Bunbury Port.
EPA Chairman Paul Vogel said: 'The proponent has also ensured the presence of marine fauna observers during marine construction activities and committed to undertaking visual boat-based dolphin monitoring following construction.' He added that 'dredging during the construction phase of the proposal has a low risk of impacting marine environmental quality. However, there will be temporary plumes in the bay from dredging from time to time'.
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