Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/12/2012 -- BMI maintains its broadly optimistic outlook for Canadian port sector, indicating a strong base for growth at the country's ports. Total throughput will be driven by strong imports, boding well for ports and the shipping sector. We estimate that Canada's economy grew by 2.5% in real terms in 2011, which was a challenging and volatile year by any measure. We expect to see a full-year average growth figure of 2.0% for 2012. This trend should continue into 2013, when we expect GDP growth of 2.3%. Our outlook for Canada's shipping sector remains positive, with volumes set to be boosted by increasing imports as well as coal exports.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2012 Port of Vancouver tonnage throughput forecast to grow 2.7%. Over the medium term we project average annual growth of 2.6% to reach 139mn tonnes in 2016.
- 2012 Port of Vancouver container throughput forecast to grow 5.6% in 2012. Over the medium term we project a 5.9% increase to reach 3.3mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2016.
Key Industry Trends
2011 Volumes Stay Flat For Port Metro Vancouver
Port Metro Vancouver handled 122.5mn tonnes of cargo in 2011, a 3.4% increase over 2010. Container traffic continued to keep pace with a record setting 2010, with volumes flat at 2.5mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), supported by a 6% increase in containerised exports.
BC Government Intends To Make Port Tax Cap Permanent
The British Columbian government has announced that it intends to make permanent the existing cap on municipal port property tax rates, reports portstrategy.com. The decision would make the province's ports even more attractive to foreign investors, including the lucrative Asia Pacific sector. The British Columbia Wharf Operator's Association said that the cap could be worth more than US$2bn in future investment. The temporary cap was introduced in 2004 under the Ports Property Tax Act.
Prince Rupert Port Registers 20% Increase In Container Throughput
Canada's Port of Prince Rupert registered a 20% year-on-year (y-o-y) rise in container throughput to 410,366TEUs in 2011. This was attributed to a 20% y-o-y jump in loaded imports to 233,146TEUs, mostly from China. The port also recorded a 59% y-o-y growth in export container traffic on the back of strong Chinese demand for lumber and other wood products.
Risks To Outlook
BMI's positive outlook for the Canadian economy indicates a strong base for growth at the country's ports. Total throughput will be driven by strong imports, boding well for the shipping sector.
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