Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/31/2012 -- There is not much to separate Australia's three main ports by way of tonnage throughput, with the Port of Brisbane set to lead the way in 2012. This scenario is set to change by the end of 2014, when Melbourne is expected to take top spot. Box throughput sees the Port of Melbourne retaining its position in first place, ahead of the domestic competition, which is led by second-placed Sydney. In terms of annual growth, it is the Port of Sydney that is set to record the highest rate with a forecast 4.8% increase this year.
It cannot be underestimated how big a factor the expected slowing in Chinese demand is going to be on key export partners such as Australia. Australian ports will therefore suffer from a projected slowdown in throughput on the back of reduced Chinese demand. Exports of raw materials will be hit as China demands less iron ore and coal, for instance. Even though we believe that the extent of the Chinese hard landing holds the key as to whether or not Australia can avoid a recession in 2012, we have long held that a period of weakness in the Australian economy is highly likely, regardless of the outlook for Chinese demand.
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Headline Industry Data
- 2012 Port of Melbourne tonnage throughput forecast to grow 3.26%.
- 2012 Port of Melbourne container throughput forecast to rise 2.39%.
- 2012 Port of Sydney tonnage throughput forecast to increase 4.80%.
- 2012 Port of Sydney container throughput forecast to increase 3.04%.
- 2012 total trade growth forecast to contract by 4.38%.
Key Industry Trends
Oakajee Project: Questions On Viability May Deter China
Mitsubishi Corporation has begun its search for a strategic partner for the Oakajee port and rail project and the Jack Hills iron ore project in Western Australia, it was reported at the end of February 2012. The Japanese conglomerate scheduled Beijing as the first stop for its roadshow in late-February. BMI maintains that there is a still a lot of potential for both projects to face further delays and as such, Chinese investors may be hesitant to take part in the Oakajee and Jack Hills project given their potential lack of economic viability.
China And Australia Iron Ore Port JV Going Ahead Despite Declining Demand
In March 2012, a joint venture (JV) to build an iron ore port in southern Australia received the go ahead with the backing of a Chinese steel maker and Australian iron ore explorer. The new port is to be developed at Port Spencer by Australia's Centrex Metals and China's Wuhan Iron and Steel Company (WISCO). It will accommodate the magnetite iron ore mines and production facility being developed by the two companies in the region and is expected to start exporting in 2015.
Australian Ports Warned Over Urban Encroachment
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