Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/09/2014 -- The Qatari shipping sector continues to be dominated by the export of the country's key commodity, natural gas, through the export terminal of Ras Laffan. Much of this is transported by national carrier Nakilat. However, the country aims to increase its container and dry bulk shipping presence as well through the development of the New Doha port, which is being developed to focus on capturing some lucrative transhipment trade.
The country is not only investing in its ports. There are also significant developments in road and rail, not least the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail network and the causeway that will link Qatar with Bahrain. We forecast moderate growth in trade and port throughput in Qatar over the medium term. Air freight is also taking off, supported by the growth of Qatar Airways Cargo and a new terminal.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2014 port of Doha tonnage throughput forecast to grow 3.1% and to average 3.5% a year to 2018 (including transferred operations to New Doha from 2015).
- 2014 air freight tonnes at Doha International to grow by 3.3%, and to average 4.2% to 2018.
- 2014 total trade forecast to decline by 1.2% as gas prices fall, and to average a decline of 2.4% over our forecast period.
Key Industry Trends
New Airfreight Facility To Boost Volume Growth: BMI believes that a new air cargo terminal development in Qatar has the potential to significantly boost the small Gulf state's air freight volumes over the medium and long term, as the country takes advantage of its geographical location to push itself as an emerging hub. The development once again marks the symbiotic relationship between the growth of Gulf-based airlines and investment in the region's airports.
Al Ruwais Port Project To Be Completed By End-2013: The Al Ruwais Port project in Qatar was scheduled to be completed by end-2013. The QAR1bn (US$247.7mn) project is being built by Consolidated Engineering Construction Company for Qatar's Public Works Authority. The expansion and development of the port will be executed in three phases, including development of the Al Ruwais Port, marine facilities for a fishing harbour and other facilities.
Minister Claims GCC Rail Project Remains On Schedule: Qatar's Minister of Transport Jassim Seif al-Sulaiti said in October that the proposed GCC rail network project was on time. Sulaiti added that the implementation date of the project will be announced soon.
Risks To Outlook
On a macroeconomic level, with the Qatari economy so reliant on the export of hydrocarbons, the key risk to our forecasts is a drop in the global price of gas. Further, although risks, that popular unrest may spill into Qatar's political arena are minimal, investors' perception vis-a-vis the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have been weakened, which could certainly hit Qatar's banking sector.
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