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Argentina Freight Transport Report Q1 2014 - New Market Study Published

New Transportation market report from Business Monitor International: "Argentina Freight Transport Report Q1 2014"

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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/25/2013 -- BMI maintains its cautious outlook for the Argentine freight transport sector. The country enjoys a good commodities mix, but it continues to struggle with external headwinds as well as internal difficulties in the form of rising inflation and ongoing labour unrest. We continue to expect that Argentine real GDP growth bottomed in 2013 at an estimated 1.8%. We expect a slight rebound in 2014, with growth set o reach 2.9%. Nevertheless, we caution that the country will continue to struggle with spiralling inflation and net exports' drag on real GDP growth.

On top of its internal economic difficulties, we highlight that the country is struggling with a considerable infrastructure deficit. Investment is needed across the board if the country's rail freight system is to handle increasing volumes in the coming years.

Headline Industry Data

- Total volume at the Port of Buenos Aires is set to increase by 2.6% in 2014 to reach 11mn tonnes.
- Air freight volume is set to grow by 1.1% to 225mn tonnes-km in 2014, with average annual growth 1.4% during our forecast period.
- Rail freight hauled in 2014 will grow by a modest 2.2% to 23.3mn tonnes, with average annual growth of 3.2% during our forecast period.

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Key Industry Trends

Rosario Thrives As Buenos Aires Struggles: BMI notes that while Buenos Aires port, the only Argentine port facility still under state control, struggles, the Rosario port complex in Santa Fe has been thriving under private management. Rosario handles about 60-70% of Argentina's agricultural exports and has been incorporating container activity. The port aims to become a regional mining port mainly on the back of services provided to its neighbour Brazil.

LAN To Keep Operating In Argentina: In October 2013, the vice president of Latam Airlines, Enrique Cueto Plaza, said that LAN Airlines, which his company controls, will continue operating in Argentina, despite past difficulties in the country, as the airline now has the explicit support of President Kristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

State Allocates ARS15mn For Tafi Viejo Workshops: The Argentine government has earmarked ARS15mn (US$2.66mn) to modernise equipment at Tafi Viejo rolling stock maintenance workshops in Tucuman province. The move is aimed at increasing production capacity for wagon overhaul.

Risks To Outlook

Traditionally, Argentina's government has had a very short term outlook towards investment in the country's freight transport network. If the Argentine freight business is to become more profitable it will require sustained investment, yielding returns on a five- to 10-year horizon. There is a danger that both investors and governments, seeking faster returns, will fail to stay the course.

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