Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Pakistan Shipping Report Q1 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/28/2013 -- We expect the outlook for the Pakistani shipping and ports sector to be relatively muted in the fiscal year ending June 30 2013, with positive but relatively low increases in activity levels. The economy is recovering moderately, on the back of an expansive monetary policy and growing domestic consumption.
But there are many ongoing causes for concern. Elections are due early next year, and Pakistan's volatile politics may trigger a new round of uncertainty. Meanwhile, with a large fiscal deficit and ongoing power shortages, it is easy to see how the current recovery could peter out. Another worry is that investment levels remain low. BMI is forecasting GDP growth of 4.0% in 2012/13, with a similar level predicted for 2013/14.
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Looking at the port sector, we expect volume growth to be in the low single digits this year, lagging a little behind GDP. The crisis in the eurozone, Pakistan's most important trading partner, is an important factor here. BMI calculates that the real value of total trade (imports + exports) fell by 1.7% in 2011/12, and is set to recover by 3.5% in 2012/13. We think regional demand from neighbouring countries using Pakistani ports as a gateway will provide a little upside potential, but in our view this will not yet be significant.
Headline Industry Data
- 2012/13 tonnage throughput at the Port of Karachi forecast by BMI to grow by 1.3% to 42.616mn tonnes; growth to inch up to 1.5% in 2013/14.
- 2012/13 container throughput growth at the Port of Karachi forecast to increase by 2.2% to 1.601mn 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs); growth in 2013/14 to rise to
- 2012/13 tonnage throughput at the Port of Muhammad Bin Qasim forecast to grow by 1.4% to 24.372mn tonnes; growth in 2013/14 to accelerate to 3.0%.
- 2012/13 container throughput at the Port of Muhammad Bin Qasim forecast to grow by 1.5% to 742,760TEUs; growth in 2013/14 to rise to 3.2%.
- Pakistan's total trade forecast to see real growth of 3.5% in 2012/13, rising to 3.9% in 2013/14.
Key Industry Trends
CHEC Takes Over As New Port Of Gwadar Operator
Under an agreement with the government, China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (CHEC) has taken over from Singapore's PSA International as the main operator at the strategically important Port of Gwadar. Because of legal complications and poor security in Balochistan, PSA was unable to move forward with plans to build a free trade zone and develop links to a road and rail corridor through to Central Asia and China. CHEC will face the same obstacles; however, according to press reports the Chinese company is said to be ready to invest up to US$10bn to develop the port. The Port of Gwadar is located near the Strait of Hormuz and the border between Pakistan and Iran. It could provide a strategically important alternative import route for China, reducing that country's dependence on maritime freight through the Straits of Malacca.
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