Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/06/2012 -- BMI forecasts that all of Israel's ports will enjoy growth in throughput levels of both containers and total tonnage in 2012 following the 2011 contractions experienced at Haifa and Eilat. We caution that this will be very low, however, given the tough macroeconomic environment in Israel currently. Longer-term projects such as the development of a rail link between the Red Sea port of Eilat and the Mediterranean provide scope for future growth.
Headline Industry Data
- 2012 Port of Haifa total tonnage throughput to grow by 6.4%, and to average 4.6% to 2016.
- 2012 box handling at Haifa will grow by 0.9% to 1.25mn TEUs. Growth projected to average 3.0% to 2016.
- The real value of Israeli foreign trade will grow at 3.9% in 2012 and will average 4.1% to the end of our forecast period.
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Key Industry Trends
Ashdod Achieves New Record For Container Movements: Israel's Ashdod Port has achieved a new daily record for container movements. During a single 24-hour period in the week ended May 5, the port recorded a 10% increase in container movements to 5,013 containers, compared with the previous record of 4,564 containers, achieved in October 2011. The port handled seven containerships during the period, including a vessel owned by Mitsui OSK Lines.
Zim Increases Its Asia-Europe Exposure: Capacity management on the Asia-Europe trade route has been dealt a further blow, with Israel's Zim Integrated Shipping Services (Zim) announcing plans to relaunch one of its Asia-North Europe services. We fear that this could be the beginning of a trend, as lines start to increase their capacity in preparation for the traditional peak season in the box shipping sector. With the macroeconomic picture depressed by austerity packages we fear this demand will not materialise and the problem of overcapacity will rear its head once more, ending the rate rally and heightening the possibility of another rate war on the route.
Southern Gateway Opens Up For New Markets: The proposed Southern Gateway project has the potential to boost Israel's export capacity, strengthen its trading ties with markets such as China and India, and guard against a potentially strained relationship with the new Egyptian government. However, we highlight that the project may prove a tenuous venture, as indicated by previously de-railed projects in the country - which have contributed to a fraught business environment and stoked tension in a rickety Israeli coalition government. Furthermore, the project could cause anger in Egypt, should the country be deprived of revenues from its Canal cash-cow.
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