2012-09-06 08:41:09 - South Africa Freight Transport Report Q1 2012 - a new market research report on companiesandmarkets.com
BMI View: Moderately Good Year The South African freight sector will see lower growth in 2012 compared to 2011, which BMI nevertheless sees as being a moderately good year, considering everything else that is happening in the world economy. In terms of the South African economy, the current recovery will continue, despite difficulties. The US and Europe, important export markets, will experience slower growth. As a result of our analysis, BMI now forecasts 2012 GDP growth of 3.9% (following the 3.2% expansion experienced in 2011). Our outlook for 2013 is for growth to gather pace to 4.1%.
Headline Industry Data
- Rail haulage growth will slow from an estimated 17.3% in 2011 to a forecast 2.3% in 2012, reaching 81.57mn tonnes.
- Following a small contraction in 2011, Richards Bay Ports tonnage throughput in 2012 is forecast to increase by 1.2%. Over the medium-term we project a 1.5% average annual increase.
- 2012 total trade growth is forecast at 6.0%, slightly down on the estimated 6.7% expansion in 2011.
Key Industry Trends
Growing Coal Exports To Benefit South African Shipping And Rail
Research by BMI shows that the US and South Africa are poised to gain an increasing share of coal exports to Asia, at the expense of Indonesia and Australia. The finding is good long-term news for South African rail freight, ports and dry-bulk shipping. If the country is to make the most of the opportunity, increased public and private investment will be required in the coal supply chain, in freight rail links and in the main coal terminals. Huge amounts of money are to be made by effectively exploiting resources wealth, and while we note that in the current volatile economic climate governments are keen to moderate expenditure, the cutting of funding to transport development should be avoided where possible, given the likely revenue realisation from increased coal exports.
Transnet Freight Rail Moving To Scheduled Service TFR, South Africas rail freight operator, is beginning to move to a scheduled service, which is expected to increase efficiency. TFR CEO, Siyabonga Gama, announced that the company would be moving away from its current tonnage-based dispatching model, where trains have to wait for loads to accumulate before they can depart. Four lines have already been placed on fixed schedules, with the remaining lines due to be scheduled in phases by mid-2012. Gama mentioned that switching to the new model would potentially raise the efficiency of its rolling-stock fleet, which currently operates 56,000 wagons and 1,400 locomotives.
Phase 2 To Get Go-Ahead At Ngqura The port, which completed the first phase of its expansion project at the end of 2009, has become the third-busiest container terminal in the country, after Cape Town and Durban. In late 2010 phase 2 of the expansion was delayed owing to the global economic crisis. The decision to go ahead after all, came after Ngqura was selected to handle manganese exports ahead of the Atlantic Port of Saldanha. Once the project is completed, the port will have a container capacity of 2mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year, compared with the current capacity of 800,000TEUs.
Key Risks To Outlook Possibly, the major downside risk for South Africa is the potential break-up of the eurozone. While previously an extreme and improbable scenario, by late 2011 the possibility that the eurozone countries might split into different groups and separate currencies could not be entirely discounted. Most analysts believed an enforced currency realignment would be accompanied by recession, which would have a negative effect on South African exports (Europe represents around one-fifth of South Africas total exports). In this scenario, freight demand would clearly be lower than our current projections. The price of this market report covers 4 quarterly reports on this sector. This quarterly report will be downloadable instantly as a PDF document, with the 3 remaining reports delivered at regular intervals throughout the year.
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