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South Africa Shipping Report Q4 2013 - New Market Report

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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/28/2013 -- Growth at South African ports is threatened by the global headwinds that are posing challenges for the country as a whole, namely the eurozone crisis and the China slowdown. However, with continued investment in facilities, growth in private final consumption, and ever-expanding coal exports, we forecast growth in both total tonnage and container volumes at most ports in 2013, though we do caution that a number are likely to suffer contractions.

Headline Industry Data

- Richards Bay Port tonnage throughput in 2013 is forecast to increase by 6.2%. Over the medium term to 2017 we project a 6.1% average annual increase.
- Port of Durban container throughput is forecast to grow by 0.9% in 2013. Growth will average 4.3% per annum in the medium-term forecast period to 2017.
- 2013 total trade growth is forecast at 3.3%, and to average 4.3% per annum to 2017.

Key Industry Trends

Freight Investments To Support Coal Exports: BMI's Mining team expects South African coal production to experience strong growth in the coming years, reversing stagnant output growth over the previous five. To ensure that its freight transport network is capable of handling the expected volumes, parastatal freight company Transnet has been investing in its development, in terms of both its ports and its railways.

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BMW Port Alternatives Reduce Risk: BMW South Africa has announced that, in line with its planned expansion in production in 2013, it will be sharing its increased exports between the port of Durban, where it currently exports the locally produced 3-Series, and additionally, the port of Maputo in Mozambique.

While this is aimed at enhancing the company's competitiveness throughout the manufacturing process, BMI believes it is also useful to have alternative shipping solutions in place, given the adverse impact of transport strikes on the South African autos sector in the past.

DCT Receives 13 New Straddle Carriers: South Africa's Durban Container Terminal (DCT): Pier 2 received 13 new straddle carriers worth ZAR126mn (US$12.66mn) in September. The move has increased the terminal's Terex Noell straddle carrier fleet to 41 units.

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