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Recently Released Market Study: South Korea Shipping Report Q1 2013

Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "South Korea Shipping Report Q1 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/11/2013 -- Fully in line with our expectations, the South Korean economy slowed in Q212 with real GDP expanding a seasonally adjusted 1.6% quarter-on-quarter annualised, decelerating from 3.6% in the first quarter. As expected, exports and investment activity were the main impediments to growth, as these components contracted an annualised 2.4% and 9.2% respectively.

Looking ahead, we expect this economic weakness to maintain course. External demand will continue to soften as a slowing Chinese economy (China is by far South Korea's largest export partner) and a persisting eurozone crisis continue to place substantial drag on the local economy. Indeed, Korean shipbuilders are expecting to face their first drop in ship and offshore product exports, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. The sector, therefore, faces a tricky time traversing such potential pitfalls going forward.

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Shipyards typically take three to four years to fulfill orders, and the weakness during that period has manifested in falling shipping exports (which comprise 10% of total exports) this year. Outbound shipments from the electronics industry are also unlikely to pick up anytime soon, judging from the weakness in the book-to-bill ratios of the semiconductor industries in the US and Japan.

Headline Industry Data

- 2013 tonnage throughput at the Port of Busan forecast to increase by 3.52%.
- 2013 tonnage throughput at the Port of Incheon forecast to grow by 4.74%.
- Container throughput at the Port of Busan is set to rise by 5.75% in 2013, while the Port of Incheon is predicted to see a 4.53% increase.
- The total value of South Korea's trade (imports plus exports) is set to enjoy real growth of 3.80% in 2013.

Key Industry Trends

Busan Builds For The Future

We believe that the port of Busan is set to maintain its position in the top 10 through continuing to innovate, develop and expand at its facilities. Two new developments reported at the end of September offer upside risk to both Busan's short-term and long-term growth outlooks.

Design The Order Of The Day

Singaporean ocean carrier APL, South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries and Norwegian marine classification society DNV are to link up to produce a hull design that could provide fuel savings of 20% per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) for APL, reported the Marine Information Centre in September. Specifically designed and optimised for the Asia-Europe route, the 10 new 13,800TEU ships could save APL US$3mn each year, by introducing flexible speed and draft combinations. The first vessel is set to be delivered in 2013.

Seaports See Box Throughput Slip

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