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New Market Study Published: Japan Freight Transport Report Q4 2013

New Transportation research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/15/2013 -- Recovery in 2013 Will Lose Impetus In 2014

Since our last quarterly report Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has strengthened his position, given that after the Senate elections in July he now controls a majority in both the Upper and Lower Houses. The first two instalments of 'Abenomics' - economic policy announcements that eased monetary policy and provided a fiscal stimulus - have been pro-growth and BMI has consequently edged up its GDP forecast for 2013 to 1.8% (up from 1.4% in our last report). However we are less optimistic about the upcoming third instalment (or 'Third Arrow' as it is known) which is intended to focus on industrial revitalisation. The government's intention appears to be to use tax incentives and credits to aid industrial consolidation in areas such as consumer electronics, to help Japanese companies compete more effectively on the global stage. However there seems to be little appetite to tackle high domestic costs or to reduce staffing levels: Western-style redundancies remain socially unacceptable. Because of this we see the strength of the recovery beginning to fade next year with growth falling to 1.3%. On balance we believe that the economic improvements will fade in 2014 and, instead, heighten worries surrounding the country's precarious fiscal position. .

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The immediate outlook for the freight sector is still limited by relatively-slow economic growth, but there are some positives. Japan's exports have started growing moderately. After sharp reductions in capacity, All-Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) - the country's two main airlines - are making profits again, and also reporting some moderate monthly increases in airfreight carried. There are signs that the country's automobile exports are set to rise, boosting shipping companies active in this specialised area.

Headline Industry Data

- Air freight tonnes forecast to grow by 2.3% in 2013 to 3.155mn tonnes, continuing a recovery after the estimated 24.5% contraction in 2011.
- Road freight tonnes hauled in 2013 forecast to grow 2.5% to 4.764bn tonnes, with average annual growth at 1.6% through to 2017.
- Rail freight tonnes will increase by 0.3% in 2013 to 41.064mn tonnes. We project average annual growth of 0.7% during our forecast period, slower than GDP.
- Port of Tokyo 2013 tonnage throughput forecast to grow 1.4% to 86.515mn tonnes, with average annual growth of 2.0% during our forecast period to 2017.
- Port of Nagoya 2013 tonnage throughput forecast to grow 3.5% to 209.726mn tonnes, with average annual growth of 3.2% over the medium term.
- The real value of Japanese trade will grow by 2.9%, up from 2.5% in 2012. Exports will grow by 2.0%, reversing their -0.3% fall of 2012.

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