Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/30/2014 -- We believe our forecasts for a weaker Australian dollar and lower long-term yields remain well placed, as economic indicators are deteriorating in line with our expectations for growth to slow. We see the economy struggling on the domestic and external fronts, due to a rigid labour market and weakening demand for commodities from China. The latter point will prove the most detrimental to Australia's shipping industry over the short term.
We believe that the sharp increase in Australian exports in January, which grew by 23.5% year-on-year (yo- y), will not persist throughout 2014 given our view for iron ore exports to see slower growth. Indeed, oversupply in the steel market and declining growth in end-user needs suggest that the 44.2% y-o-y increase in Australian iron ore exports in January will wane. As such, we maintain our forecast for exports to grow by 7.1% in 2014.
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In 2014, container throughput growth is set to outpace that in the tonnage sphere across the board at Australia's largest ports. The Port of Melbourne (Australia's busiest box handler) is set to see healthy y-o-y growth of just under 8% in 2014, ahead of Brisbane and Sydney (6.82% and 4.00% respectively). Meanwhile, tonnage handled will see its most impressive annual growth at the Port of Sydney (3.80%).
Headline Industry Data
- 2014 Port of Melbourne tonnage throughput forecast to grow 3.01%.
- 2014 Port of Melbourne container throughput forecast to rise 7.73%.
- 2014 Port of Sydney tonnage throughput forecast to increase 3.80%.
- 2014 Port of Sydney container throughput forecast to increase 4.00%.
- 2014 Port of Brisbane tonnage throughput forecast to rise 3.00%.
- 2014 Port of Brisbane container throughput forecast to grow 6.82%
- 2014 Total trade growth forecast to grow by 3.33%.
Melbourne's Auto Logistics Role To Expand - The port of Melbourne's role in Australia's supply chain is set to grow with news that it is to develop a new automotive terminal at the facility's new upgrade project at Webb Dock West. The construction of the terminal has been awarded to the Australian engineering and construction firm McConnell Dowell. The project will ensure that Melbourne retains its position as Australia's key automotive trade port.
PHPA Considers Proposals To Increase Access To Port Space - Australia's Port Hedland Port Authority (PHPA) was reported in March 2014 to be considering proposals to add additional capacity for iron ore miners. The PHPA is currently mulling over proposals for outer and inner-harbour terminals at Finucane Island and Lumsden Point. The new facilities, which are likely to boost PHPA's annual export capacity above 500mn tonnes, are expected to be built and run by specialist infrastructure companies. Improved general cargo facilities and a commerce department-supported fabrication and services facility are also planned at Lumsden Point.
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