2012-09-02 16:56:09 - Fast Market Research recommends "Nigeria Shipping Report Q4 2012" from Business Monitor International, now available
Although Nigeria's economy faces an uphill struggle in the short term, stemming from challenges at home and abroad, it is actually still pencilled in for healthy growth, with the country's shipping sector nicely poised to benefit. This is due in no small part to an increasing emphasis being placed on non-oil exports, elevated government spending, and rising household consumption.
In 2012, the Port of Tin Can Island is set to lead the way in terms of tonnage throughput, and is projected to witness double-digit growth this year. The ports of Koko and Sapele are second and third respectively by this measure, while the country's largest port at Lagos will also achieve healthy year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of over 6%.
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The continuing investment in facilities in the Nigerian shipping sector helps to underpin our positive expectations and while demand for containerised shipping is set to increase considerably in West Africa over the coming decades, the experience of operators, such as International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) at the recently conceived new port at Lekki, located within the Lagos Free Trade Zone.
Headline Industry Data
* 2012 Port of Lagos tonnage throughput is forecast to increase by 6.21% and to average 6.0% to 2016.
* 2012 Port Harcourt tonnage throughput is forecast to increase by 5.62% and to average 6.6% over our forecast period to 2016.
* 2012 trade growth forecast at 6.0%.
Key Industry Trends
Rail Connections For Ports
We believe that the developmental measures being taken by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will aid ports in their fight to control the congestion that has somewhat blighted the sector in recent times. Coupled with investment by the ports' operators, these measures will help the country secure its place as the premier trade hub for West Africa.
Q1 Results Reinforce Ports Outlook
Nigerian ports are set to enjoy strong growth in the mid term due to a concerted commitment to investment over recent years. Although congestion is something of a problem still, despite strong headway being made in this area, on the back of this, and first quarter data from 2012, we are maintaining our strong growth outlook for the country's premier port, Lagos, which incorporates the Apapa Container Terminal (ACT).
Maritime Industry Concerned Over Increased Piracy
Piracy is one of the biggest downside risks to the country's shipping sector going forward with the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre warning in May 2012 of an increasing number of attacks by Nigerian pirates on ships passing through African waters. A total of 10 incidents have been reported since the start of 2012, with 42 crew members taken hostage in attacks on a product tanker and one chemical tanker.
Key Risks To Outlook
We see potential to the upside in the form of the country's net exports outlook. Although oil output contracted in the first quarter of 2012, there was a surge in non-oil exports, meaning that exports reached US$31.3bn in Q112, compared with US$21.0bn in Q111, an increase of nearly 50%. Aside from this, concerted efforts are being made at present to deal with the detrimental impact of congestion, with the NPA focusing on developing the ports sector to help the country secure its place as the premier trade hub in West Africa. Key to this is the news that the NPA is investing over NGN860mn in developing the railways at the country's major ports.
As mentioned elsewhere in the trends and developments section and in last quarter's report, piracy continues to provide a looming threat to Nigeria's shipping industry and it therefore crucial that the country continues to acknowledge the threat and combat it effectively.
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