Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/28/2012 -- BMI maintains its cautious outlook for the Chinese port and shipping sector, highlighting that indicators continue to align to back our view of a slowdown in China's economic growth. There is growing evidence that the economy is close to contraction. We do not expect a recovery any time soon, as structural forces will keep growth relatively weak and highly susceptible to negative shocks. We forecast headline real GDP growth to come in at 7.5% and 7.0% in 2012 and 2013 respectively. While monthly throughput data from the country's main container shipping ports has picked up since the start of the year, the growth posted by both Shanghai and Shenzhen has been far from impressive in H112, reflecting our macro view. These monthly results support our view that a noticeable slowdown in Chinese economic growth is set to come into effect during our forecast period. Our core view on Chinese growth is that we are past the boom phase and we are entering a period of much weaker expansion. The slowdown in the construction sector will result in less demand for imports of goods such as iron ore and coal, while ports and shipping lines alike are feeling the effects of a gradual contraction in China's overseas trade volumes over our midterm forecast period. Although this moderation in growth is expected to be soft, concerns over the possibility of a sharper contraction in Chinese bilateral trade adds a degree of downside risk to our projections.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2012 Port of Shanghai tonnage throughput forecast to grow 5.23%. Over the mid-term we project average annual growth of 5.83%.
- 2012 Port of Shenzen container throughput forecast to grow 0.19%. Over our forecast period we project average annual growth of 1.83%.
- 2012 trade growth forecast at 2.52%, a considerable slowdown from 2011's estimated 15.98%.
Key Industry Trends
APMT Chooses Ningbo
APM Terminal's (APMT) expansion strategy sees the Danish company return to China, taking a 25% stake in three container berths at the Chinese port of Ningbo's Meishan Container Terminal.
Vale Navigates China Problem With Storage Vessel
BMI believes that the decision by Vale to introduce a second iron ore storage vessel into its fleet signals a forced revisit to the company's shipping strategy following the ruling by Chinese authorities prohibiting Valemax vessels from calling at Chinese ports.
Core China View Playing Out In Container Shipping
Four month container throughput results for 2012 paint an interesting picture of China's port sector. While the country's first-tier ports are highlighting our core view of a Chinese slowdown, with box volume growth slowing, the country's second-tier container ports are recording stellar growth,
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