Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Australia Shipping Report Q4 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/14/2013 -- In line with BMI's expectations for the Australian economy to struggle in 2013, real GDP growth in Q1 2013 slowed to 2.2% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in seasonally-adjusted annualised terms, compared to 2.3% in Q4 2012. We expect the slowdown in private consumption to be the main drag on growth in the coming quarters, as job losses rise on the back of businesses cutting costs, triggering the beginning of household debt deleveraging. Together with our expectations for tepid export growth, we maintain our expectations for Australia's GDP growth to slow to 2.1% in 2013 compared with consensus expectations of 2.6% and 3.7% growth in 2012. With China facing its own slowdown in domestic demand, Australia's export growth is likely to remain tepid despite the weakening Australian dollar, a scenario that will be detrimental to the Australian shipping sector. With the ongoing economic uncertainty in the eurozone and little increase in US demand for Australian exports, we do not expect a rise in externally-driven demand to outweigh the decline in domestic demand. As such, we maintain our outlook for GDP growth to slow to 2.1% in 2013, sharply down from the rate of 3.7% recorded in 2012. Indeed, we expect the debt deleveraging and economic restructuring processes to keep economic growth below the country's long-term average of 3.4% for the next decade.
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Australia's goods and services balance recorded its first surplus in 14 months in March 2013, coming in at AUD307mn in seasonally-adjusted terms. The surplus in the merchandise trade account continued to increase, rising to AUD1,209mn in March 2013 from the first surplus of AUD839mn recorded in February. The growth in net merchandise exports helped offset the persistent services deficit, which came in at AUD902mn for the month.
Headline Industry Data
- 2013 Port of Melbourne tonnage throughput forecast to grow 3.00%.
- 2013 Port of Melbourne container throughput forecast to rise 3.14%.
- 2013 Port of Sydney tonnage throughput forecast to increase 0.43%.
- 2013 Port of Sydney container throughput forecast to increase 4.00%.
- 2013 Total trade growth forecast to contract by 1.72%.
Key Industry Trends
Falling Prices Jeopardise Viability Of Anketell Point Port: The federal environmental approval of the Anketell Point Port comes at a good time as new project cancellations pile up in Australia's mining industry. Although we believe that the port will be built, reduced iron ore demand and low iron ore prices pose a significant risk to its future revenue stream. The new port is aimed at processing and exporting iron ore produced by the planned West Pilbara project, which is currently developing stage 1.
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