2013-09-16 09:07:23 - Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Poland Shipping Report Q4 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
GDP Growth Forecast Reduced Again
In the past three months, Poland's growth outlook, already somewhat muted, has deteriorated further. High unemployment and stagnant wage growth, combined with a degree of uncertainty, have undermined consumer demand. Retail sales growth dropped from an average of 6.4% year-on-year during the course of 2012, to only 0.8% in Q113. With inflation falling and unemployment still high (we expect it to rise to 14.2% this year from 13.4% in December 2012), wage growth has slowed down. We expect fixed investment to remain weak, in part because capacity utilisation remains low, at 72.9% in Q213. House prices continue to fall (down by 1.8% in Q113), which has led to a sharp slump in construction sales. The only
positive contribution to growth is coming from net exports, but this is relatively muted, as it largely reflects the drop in imports, rather than any strong rise in exports. In fact, export performance remains tied to the low-growth prospects of the eurozone, although we believe the situation may stabilise with a hopedfor improvement in German manufacturing in H213. Taking all these factors into account, we are now forecasting 1.2% GDP growth in 2013 (down from 1.9% previously), followed by 2.7% growth in 2014 (down from 3.0% previously)
Full Report Details at
The country's major maritime ports will see positive growth in 2013. The port of Gdansk is seeing very sharp expansion, reflecting the rapid development of its capacity, as well as its good business links. 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. While at a much lower rate, 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 32.0% to 35.504mn tonnes; over the medium term to 2017 we project a 13.7% average annual increase.
* 2013 port of Gdansk container throughput forecast to grow 38.4% to 1.285mn TEUs; over the medium term we project an 18.1%average annual increase.
* Port of Gdynia tonnage to increase 1.8% to 16.093mn tonnes, with five-year average annual growth at 2.9% per annum.
* Port of Gdynia container handling growth predicted to be 7.9% in 2013, to 729,780 TEUS, with growth set to average 6.8% on the medium term to 2017.
* 2013 total trade growth forecast at 2.5%, up from an estimated 0.6% in 2012.
Key Industry Trends
Cargo Handled At Gdansk Up 30% In H113: Cargo tonnage handled by the Port of Gdansk in January- June this year rose by 30% to 13.99mn tones, according to the port authorities. In the first six months grain handling rose by 31.3% to 538,829 tonnes, general cargo and timber rose 27.3% to 5.310mn tones, coal shipments jumped by 310% to 2.676mn tonnes, liquid fuels rose 45,8% to 4.389mn tonnes, and other cargoes (including aggregates, sulphur, and ores) fell by 52.4% to 1.075mn tonnes.
Vegetable Oils & Fats Terminal Planned: The Port of Gdansk Authority (PGA) said it signed an agreement with Dutch company Noba Vital Lipids to build and operate up to ten fat products storage tanks. Noba is experienced in the production, processing, storage and distribution of vegetable oils, fatty acids, lecithins and other products obtained from the edible oils refining process. It won a tender to lease 1.7 hectares of land along the Wislane Quay at Gdansk port, where it intends to invest EUR7mn to install ten tanks with a total capacity of 11,500 tonnes, together with berths for ship-to-shore handling operations and shipping dispatch of tanker lorries loaded from the tanks. Within 12 months, the infrastructure will be put in place, for an annual handling capacity of 80,000 tonnes of fatty products shipped on board modern tankers.
Polish CLIP Joins Rotterdam Network: The CLIP container terminal at Swardedz near Posnan has joined InlandLinks, a web portal for container terminals operating in the hinterland of Rotterdam port. The portal allows customers to plan and contract shipments and container terminal slots, with the terminals presented 'on the basis of objective and comparable criteria'. This is the first Polish terminal to join the InlandLinks network, currently being used by 35 facilities, of which 27 are in the Netherlands, four in Germany, three in Belgium and one - now - is in Poland. Swardedz has a direct rail link to the Port of Rotterdam, with a shuttle service, operated by ERS Railways, running three times a week.
Risks to Outlook
Despite the short term slowdown, BMI still has a reasonably positive outlook for the economy on the medium term. Container throughput will be partly driven by consumers, a section of the Polish economy that, present difficulties aside, will strengthen over the next few years. 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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