New Transportation market report from Business Monitor International: "Taiwan Freight Transport Report Q3 2013"
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/22/2013 -- Downside Risks Grow But 2013 GDP Forecast Still At 3.0%
Since our last quarterly report, the downside risks to our Taiwan economic forecast have edged up. We are holding to our below-consensus forecast of 3.0% GDP growth, but we note that Q113 data was disappointing. GDP growth decreased to a seasonally adjusted annualised rate of 3.2%. Other signs of weakness include faltering export orders, which fell for two consecutive months, thereby interrupting the recovery in overseas sales that had begun to take shape in H212. Admittedly, it is a finely balanced picture, with some upside risks also in play. Over the long term, we believe Taiwan is over-dependent on the technology sector, but reports of new product launches and speculation around further expansion of the Apple line of products could provide some short-term impetus to the economy. We continue to note concerns over the strength of the mainland China recovery, and over domestic issues such as inefficiencies in the banking and financial sector, and rigidities in the labour market. This year's growth will follow on from a difficult 2012, when GDP grew by only 1.3%. Prompted by our reassessment of Taiwan's investment and export prospects, we have lowered our average annual growth forecasts for the period running from 2013 to 2017, down to 3.9%.
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In line with the modest macro-economic recovery we now expect something of a standstill in 2013 port activity levels. Broadly speaking, Kaohsiung, Taiwan's largest port, remains the most resilient, not least because it is attracting new investment. But gross tonnage handled will drop marginally, while container handling will increase, also marginally. Airfreight, rail, and road haulage will have a mixed performance in 2013, spread quite widely in the -3.2% to +2.5% range.
Headline Industry Data
- 2013 airfreight tonnage is expected to grow by 2.2% to 1.164mn tonnes.
- 2013 rail freight is forecast to edge up by 1.1% to 14.051mn tonnes.
- Maintaining a three-year run of positive growth, 2013 road freight is forecast to increase by 2.5% to 669.325mn tonnes.
- 2013 Port of Kaohsiung tonnage throughput forecast to contract by 1.8% to 118.582mn tonnes, over the mid-term to 2017 we project an annual average increase of 0.8%.
- Port of Keelung will see tonnage falling by 3.2% in 2013, to 67.182mn tonnes.
- 2013 total trade is forecast to rise by 3.4% in real terms, compared to a fall of 0.9% in the preceding year.
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