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"Canada Shipping Report Q1 2014" Published

New Transportation research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research

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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/09/2013 -- Canada - Q114

BMI maintains its broadly optimistic outlook for the Canadian port sector, but we remain concerned about import and export volumes. We believe the Canadian economy will continue to slow due to weakening residential construction and household consumption, but should avoid falling into recession. The mix of growth will continue to shift away from private consumption as household balance sheets remain under pressure.

We now forecast 2014 GDP growth of 2.5%, an uptick on 2013's estimated 1.5% growth. For the period 2014-2017 we expect to see average annual GDP growth of 2.3-2.4%.

Headline Industry Data

- 2014 Port of Vancouver tonnage throughput forecast to grow 6.0%. We project throughput to reach 171mn tonnes in 2018.
- 2014 Port of Vancouver container throughput forecast to grow 4.50% to reach 2.9mn TEUs. Over the medium term we project throughput to reach 3.6mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2018.

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Key Industry Trends

Larger Ships Offer Upside At Montreal

H113 data released for the port of Montreal, Canada's second-largest port and the country's key east-coast maritime gateway has led BMI to revise its throughput forecasts for the port. The facility over the short and medium term stands to benefit from the larger box ships that are now able to navigate the St Lawrence waterway, a development that offers upside risk to our container throughput forecasts for the port.

Metro Vancouver Bulking Up

The release of Q113 and H113 data has led BMI to revise up our tonnage forecasts for Canada's largest port, Metro Vancouver, despite the plateauing outlook for the country's economic growth. The port is developing its bulk credentials, with planned coal and grain terminal expansions to offer further risk to the upside in the medium term.

Strong Outlook For Halifax

BMI forecasts strong growth at the Canadian port of Halifax in the coming months, building on impressive throughput results from the port in 2013. We believe that the port's relationship with major container liner Hapag-Lloyd is crucial to its continued success, and this will help the facility continue to build its container handling volumes over the medium term.

Risks To Outlook

The biggest risk by far is the potential for a eurozone breakup, which would threaten the Canadian economy across the board, from business confidence to trade and financial markets.

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