Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/11/2014 -- The port of Hong Kong holds the top position in Hong Kong's maritime sector in terms of both total tonnage and container throughput. BMI believes it will demonstrate growth in 2014 after 2013 performance was hindered by a forty day strike, continued recession in the eurozone, the sluggish nature of US economic growth, the slowing outlook for the Chinese economy, the move of Chinese factories further inland and competition from the neighbouring port of Shenzhen.
Over the rest of the medium term, BMI projects moderate growth at the port of Hong Kong. Although up until 2012 it was managing to weather the competition from the development of Shenzhen as China's second largest container port and despite the close proximity of the two facilities was managing to retain its lead, Hong Kong is now lost it to Shenzhen, which, BMI believes, also had its container throughput bolstered as a result of the Hong Kong 2013 strike, as some shippers re-routed there to avoid the industrial action.
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We, however, also highlight that the port of Hong Kong has long-term expansion plans in place to ensure it remains among the world's top ports.
Headline Industry Data
- 2014 port of Hong Kong tonnage throughput forecast to grow 1%, over the medium term we project a 9% increase.
- 2014 port of Hong Kong container throughput forecast to grow 1%, over the medium term we project a 3% increase.
- 2014 total trade growth forecast at 4.23%.
Key Industry Trends
Bunker Fuel Law a Further Blow to Hong Kong: Legislation making it mandatory to use low sulphur bunker fuel for shipping lines calling at Hong Kong could discourage shipping companies from using the port and see them instead choose its rival port of Shenzhen. BMI forecasts Shenzhen to remain above Hong Kong as the world's third largest port by container volumes in 2014, with the latest low emissions bunker fuel law, which comes into effect in 2015, likely widening Shenzhen's container throughput lead over Hong Kong.
Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), a member of Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, announced that it signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machinery Technology Corporation (MHIMT) to install remote-control operations for the 29 Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) at its Container Terminal 9 in the Kwai Tsing container port area of Hong Kong. It is the first time that this technology is being implemented for RTGs outside of Japan.
Risks To Outlook
The major short-term risk to our outlook for Hong Kong is presented by a potential deepening of the slowdown in demand outlook for Europe, the US and China. If the mainland economy experiences a sharper-than-expected slowdown, or the sovereign crisis in Europe takes a turn for the worse, it would lead to a decline in throughput at the nation's port.
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