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New Market Research Report: Thailand Shipping Report Q2 2013

New Transportation market report from Business Monitor International: "Thailand Shipping Report Q2 2013"


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/30/2013 -- Economy Resilient, But Grow To Slow In 2013

The Thai economy grew very strongly in late 2012, and BMI sees the recovery continuing into 2013, although with somewhat less force. In Q412, GDP growth was a spectacular 18.9% year-on-year (y-o-y), bringing expansion for the year as a whole to an above-consensus 6.4%. The very strong last-quarter number reflected base effects - Q411 had seen the economy plummeting because of the effects of disastrous nationwide floods. Two other factors, which in our view are not sustainable in the long term, have helped raise the growth rate. The first of these is a programme of one-off tax rebates on vehicle sales, as part of the government's First Car Buyer Programme, which helped boost vehicle production last year by an estimated 81% to 1.4mn units. The second is a policy of subsidising rice sales, by offering guaranteed prices to farmers. This has led to a massive build-up in rice stockpiles. BMI's view is that these policies will have to be ended or eased back on, and coupled with other factors - such as a growth slowdown in China in H213, the negative effects of an overvalued Thai baht, and other global headwinds - this will bring down GDP growth in 2013 to around 4%. We note however that so far the local economy is showing itself to be more resilient than we had expected. The opening of peace talks with rebels in the south of the country is also a positive sign and, should an agreement be reached, could deliver a significant economic dividend.

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As for industry-specific factors, port and shipping growth will be broadly in line with the pace of GDP and foreign trade growth. We note, however, that according to our forecasts in 2013 GDP will grow by 4.0% while foreign trade will expand by a slightly higher 5.4%. Overall tonnage and container handling at Thailand's main ports will expand in the 4%-7.0% range.

Headline Industry Data

- Gross tonnage at Laem Chabang, the country's largest port, set to rise by 6.5% to 46.146mn tonnes in 2013 (faster than the forecast 4.0% GDP growth for the year).
- Box handling at the same port to rise 6.8% to 6.329mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
- At the Port of Bangkok, BMI projects that tonnage growth will slow to 4.1% in 2013 to 189.413mn tonnes, with container handling set to grow 6.5% to 1.488mn TEUs.
- We expect the real value of foreign trade to grow 5.4% in 2013, up from 4.5% the year before. Imports will be up by 6.4%, ahead of exports that will grow by 4.4%.

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