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Market Report, "Colombia Shipping Report Q1 2013", Published

Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Colombia Shipping Report Q1 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/13/2012 -- Our outlook for the Colombian ports and shipping sector remains broadly positive, despite a moderating macro-level view. There are encouraging signs of badly needed investment in transport infrastructure, both in the country's ports and in the freight transport infrastructure that feeds them, on the back of the country's developing mining sector. However, progress on such projects is often delayed, and BMI cautions that bottlenecks may remain a problem for some time.

We believe Colombia is undergoing a moderate shift in the country's shape of growth, characterised by a slight slowdown in private consumption. On top of this, the recent downgrade to our global growth and oil price outlooks suggests demand for Colombian exports will fall slightly below our initial expectations.

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As a result, we have revised down our 2013 real GDP growth forecast from 4.4% to 4.3%. Despite this, consumption will remain at relatively strong levels, and a positive investment outlook for the mining, petroleum and infrastructure sectors will ensure Colombia enjoys more than 4% growth over the coming years, boding very well for volumes at the country's container ports, as well as dry and liquid bulk facilities.

On the downside, oil is the country's main export (48.9% of total goods exports in 2011), and our Oil & Gas team's recent downgrade to our average Brent crude oil price outlook to US$102 per barrel (bbl) for 2013, suggests global demand for oil will weaken next year.

However, on the dry bulk side, the outlook remains positive. Colombia's coal exports have ramped up in recent years, experiencing 39.6% growth in 2011. We anticipate further increases over the medium term, as Xstrata's planned US$1.3bn investment into the Cerrejon coal mine by 2015 will help boost production.

Given Colombia's still-substantial infrastructure deficit, we expect investment into infrastructure and freight transport related to the export sector will continue to grow in 2013. This comes as both the government and private companies look to decrease supply chain inefficiencies and increase the country's export capacity from both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.

Headline Industry Data

- The Port of Cartagena will see total tonnage volume increase by 8.9% to 15.5mn tonnes in 2013.
- Container traffic at the port will rise by 12.5% to 21.5mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
- Volume at the Pacific port of Buenaventura will be up by a more restrained 2.9% to 9.8mn tonnes, while container traffic will rise 6.4% to reach 565,600TEUs.

Key Industry Trends

Colombian Coal Reserves Attract Port Investment

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