New Transportation market report from Business Monitor International: "Taiwan Freight Transport Report Q3 2012"
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/24/2012 -- We are expecting lower GDP growth in Taiwan this year, having cut our forecast to 2.1% growth after 4.0% expansion in 2011. There are signs that a recovery cycle is beginning, but we think it will take some time to gather pace, against the influence of global headwinds, slower growth in mainland China and rising fuel and electricity tariffs at home. By next year the pace will accelerate again - we are projecting 5.1% GDP growth.
Slower growth this year will have a fairly significant impact on freight transport activity. Data for the first months of 2012 confirm that lower levels of international trade are making their impact felt on maritime freight. At Kaohsiung, Taiwan's largest port, the tougher conditions mean we now expect bulk tonnage to contract a little in 2012, while container growth there will be brought to a virtual standstill. At Keelung, the country's second largest port, the downside will be more severe, with double-digit percentage falls in both bulk tonnage and box traffic.
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Air freight and rail cargo volumes are also feeling the impact of slower growth: we are now predicting varying degrees of contraction during the course of this year. Road haulage, on the other hand, is bucking the trend, and looks set to register another year of growth, albeit at a rather moderate pace.
Headline Industry Data
- 2012 air freight tonnage is expected to contract by 6.0% to 1.076mn tonnes.
- 2012 rail freight is forecast to fall steeply by 11.0% to 12.905mn tonnes.
- Bucking the trend, 2012 road freight is forecast to grow by 3.0% to 657.14mn tonnes.
- 2012 Port of Kaohsiung tonnage throughput forecast to contract by 2.0% to 121.453mn tonnes, over the mid-term we project an annual average increase of 0.9%.
- Port of Keelung will see tonnage contracting by 13.2% to 65.463mn tonnes in 2012.
- 2012 total trade growth forecast at 0.9% in real terms, compared to 1.9% in the preceding year.
Key Industry Trends
Air Freight Operators Feeling The Squeeze
With slower foreign trade and downturn in the mainland China air cargo business, Taiwan-based companies are struggling with tough market conditions in the first half of 2012. Taiwan-based air carriers China Airlines (CAL) and EVA Airways both registered losses in Q112 due to higher operating costs.
CAL recorded a net loss of US$32.26mn in Q112, compared with US$13.01mn in Q111. However, it posted a 1.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) jump in revenue to US$1.06bn, compared with US$1.04bn a year earlier. Meanwhile, EVA reported losses of US$37.05mn during the quarter, compared with a net profit of US$9.24mn in the year-ago period. The carrier's revenue climbed by 5.7% y-o-y to US$877mn in the quarter, compared with US$829.59mn in Q111.
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