Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/26/2014 -- BMI maintains its cautiously optimistic view on the Argentine port 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 labour unrest. We continue to expect that Argentine real GDP will grow 2.9% in 2014, having bottomed in 2013 at 1.8% growth. The 2014 acceleration is expected on the back of a rebound in private consumption and less of a drag from net exports. Risks to our outlook are on the upside, as the possibility of an improved business environment could lead to more outside investment in the country.
Headline Industry Data
- Total tonnage volume at the Port of Buenos Aires is set to increase by 2.6% in 2014, to reach 11.52mn tonnes. Box handling at the port will rise by 7.5%, to 1.25mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
- The Port of Bahia Blanca will see 3% growth in volume to 14.8mn tonnes in 2014. Box handling at the port will also grow by 3.8%, to 34,531 TEUs.
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Key Industry Trends
Buenos Aires And Montevideo Competition Heats Up
Argentina's decision to effectively ban Argentine goods being transhipped through Uruguayan ports is a reaction to Montevideo's growing role in Argentina's supply chain. The development of Montevideo's transhipment role has placed pressure on Argentina's main container port of Buenos Aires. Argentina's resolution therefore seeks to curtail Montevideo's competitive edge, and offers upside risk to throughput at the Port of Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires' Port Investments To Boost Box Throughput
The Port of Buenos Aires' recent upgrade of its port equipment in preparation for handling larger vessels is part of a wider investment drive by the country into its port sector. The strategy will offer upside risk to our box throughput forecasts. Argentina's liner connections have room for improvement; this improvement in port investments will see the country able to compete regionally with modern and developed facilities. This will ensure that Buenos Aires remains a major port of call on shipping routes.
Chinese Dredging Machinery Arrives At Mar de la Plata
Chinese dredging machinery has arrived at the Argentine Port of Mar de la Palta. When the dredging works are completed, which are expected to take 90 days, the port's main outer channel will have a width of 100 metres and a depth of -11.60 meters, allowing it to accept calls from larger container vessels.
Risks To Outlook
On the upside, the possibility of an improved business environment could lead to more outside investment in the country, particularly in the oil and gas sector. Increased industrial activity could boost volumes at ports.
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