Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/13/2012 -- The outlook for the Pakistani shipping and ports sector is positive, but subdued. In BMI's view, this is the result of the interplay of three main factors. First, after two consecutive years of economic slowdown, we expect GDP growth to recover in the fiscal year that is just beginning (FY 2012/13, starting in June 2012). BMI predicts the new year will see GDP growth of 3.0%, up from 2.2% in 2011/12. This recovery in economic activity would normally be expected to boost activity levels at the country's main ports, and indeed, we see positive growth in tonnage and container handling.
However, the second main factor - the outlook for Pakistan's foreign trade - is expected to be a drag on port performance. The fact is that while we see a domestic recovery coming into play, the foreign trade outlook will take significantly longer to improve. BMI expects the real value of foreign trade to contract by 4.0% in FY2011/12, and again by a further 2.0% in FY2012/13. While imports will continue growing, the contraction in the overall value of foreign trade reflects some very steep falls in export levels. This is the main reason, we believe, why port activity growth will be subdued. The third factor - 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.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2011/12 tonnage throughput at the Port of Karachi forecast by BMI to grow by 1.5% to 44.95mn tonnes; growth to ease to 0.8% in 2012/13.
- 2011/12 container throughput growth at the Port of Karachi forecast to increase by 1.4% to 1.57mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs); growth in 2012/13 to remain at the same 1.4% level.
- 2011/12 tonnage throughput at the Port of Muhammad Bin Qasim forecast to rise by 1.61% to 26.59mn tonnes; growth in 2012/13 to edge up to 1.7%.
- 2011/12 container throughput at the Port of Muhammad Bin Qasim forecast to grow by 3.10% to 803,170TEUs; growth in 2012/13 to edge up to 3.2%.
- Pakistan's total trade forecast to see real contraction of 4.0% in 2012, with a further fall of 2.0% in 2013.
Key Industry Trends
PICT Announces 22% Increase In Profits
Karachi terminal operator Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) announced a 22% increase in after-tax profits to PKR1.102bn (US$12.14mn) in the nine months to end-March 2012. Net turnover over the same period was up by 13.9% to PKR5.102bn. Terminal operating costs rose by 6.0% to PKR2.784bn.
ICTSI Buys Into Karachi
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