Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/18/2013 -- We forecast fairly modest growth in Israel's freight transport sector in 2013. Political risk from the civil war in Syria, escalating sectarian tensions in Lebanon and the bombardment of the Gaza Strip in November 2012 could all weigh on the Israeli economy and its freight transport sector. Equally the sluggish growth of its key trade partners in the West could also hamper volumes. The country is looking towards the future, however, and is committed to developing its ports.
Headline Industry Data
- 2013 air freight growth is forecast at 1.9%; we project average growth of 1.9% per annum to 2017.
- 2013 Port of Haifa tonnage throughput growth is forecast at 3.4%, following estimated growth of 8.2% in 2012, and to average 2.9% per annum to 2017.
- 2013 rail freight tonnage is forecast to grow by 4.6%, following an estimated growth of 3.3% in 2012, to average 4.3% to 2017.
- Total trade growth in real terms in 2013 is forecast to grow 3.5% and averaging 2.9% to 2017.
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Key Industry Trends
Lufthansa Cargo Seeks To Diversify With Israel Flight
Lufthansa Cargo is increasing its coverage of the Middle East, a region offering some protection from the downturn in the global air freight market but one that the German company has relatively low exposure to, by launching its first all freighter service to Israel.
Much Needed Investment In Container Terminals
BMI believes that Israel is wise to set in motion a long-term plan for the expansion of its Mediterranean ports Ashdod and Haifa. We have highlighted previously how the country's facilities are not equipped to deal with the ever-larger container ships being launched, and this move addresses this. The new terminals will provide upside potential to the ports over the longer term.
Box Potential For Privatised Eilat
BMI believes that the end to the long-running saga of the Port of Eilat's privatisation could provide upside risk to our throughput forecasts for the facility, and could see the port become a serious entry point for containers entering Israel once again. The Eilat Port, which handles 6% of Israel's total foreign trade, is set to become the first national port to be privatised by the government, and the move will be watched with interest by port operators as the Mediterranean facilities of Ashdod and Haifa are also intended to be handed over to private operators over the coming decade.
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