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Bulgaria Shipping Report Q1 2013 - New Market Report Now Available

New Transportation market report from Business Monitor International: "Bulgaria Shipping Report Q1 2013"


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/16/2013 -- BMI has revised up its projections for the port of Varna on the back of double digit increases in throughput in 2012 and a more positive macroeconomic outlook.

Over the medium term, plans to concession the port's container operations offer upside risk to our forecast of a steady recovery, but we highlight there has not yet been any interest and currently the country's privatisation drive is centered on concessioning ports on the country's part of the Danube River.

The country's inland waterways play a major role in Bulgaria's freight transport sector. In 2011 (last historic data) Bulgaria's inland waterways handled the second-largest amount of freight after road and so far five of the country's Danube ports have been concessioned out of a total of 12 that are due to be tendered.

BMI believes Bulgaria will hold off tendering its container operations at the port of Varna until the global container sector starts to recover. Perspective investors in the port tried to woo are Germany's HHLA and Chinese firms, but there has been no update on their interest.

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Headline Industry Data

- 2013 port of Varna tonnage throughput forecast to grow 5.4%, over the medium term we project a 26.9% increase.
- 2013 port of Varna container throughput forecast to grow 6.9%, over the medium term we project a 33.5% increase.
- 2013 total trade growth forecast at 5.8%.

Key Industry Trends

Inland Waterway Takes Centre Stage As Danube Ports Concessioned

Bulgaria's inland waterways play a vital role in the country's freight transport sector. While the sector is dominated by road haulage, which accounted for 82.5% of the total freight carried in Bulgaria in 2011, inland waterways account for the second-largest percentage, just ahead of rail, handling 8.8% of the total compared to the 8.6% handled by rail.

The country's inland waterways are set to retain their vital role in Bulgaria's freight transport sector and with the privatisation of some of the ports on Bulgaria's part of the Danube (the country's main waterway) there is the potential for greater investment in this sector and the possibility of this mode to increase its role further.

The concession for one of Bulgaria's largest Danube ports, the port of Lom, was announced in August 2012. An interested investor would be expected to invest at least BGN6.78mn in the first four years of the concession and a further BGN16mn between the 5th and 35th year of the concession. The port is being concessioned for 35 years.

Potential Austrian Interest, But Blockages Must Be Dealt With

Fellow Danube state, Austria is reported to be interested in Bulgaria's inland waterway privatisation initiative. Bulgaria's transport minister, Ivaylo Moskovski, made a presentation to potential Austrian investors in September 2012.

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